New York: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has called for stronger collective action by the global community to combat the menace of terrorism.
Speaking at the India-CARICOM (Caribbean Community) Ministerial Meet, Swaraj also announced an aid of USD 200,000 to countries worst affected by recent hurricanes in the region.
Emphasising on enhancing cooperation in capacity building, business and trade, Swaraj said India’s excellent relations with individual Caribbean country have been further reinforced by New Delhi’s growing relations with CARICOM.
Asserting that India’s ties with the Caribbean region are historic and civilization, the she also added that India would invite the CARICOM member countries to sign International Solar Alliance Framework Agreement.
“Today a decisive, energetic and action oriented leadership is in-charge in India and it is making special efforts to connect to all its friends across the world. this context, we also realize the importance of regular interactions with our Caribbean partners. There have been interactions between the leaders of India and the CARICOM Member States at a fairly high level on the sidelines of international meetings and forums. Similarly, there is also a need to exchange visits at the highest level from both sides. It will not only bring us closer but enhance our links and further strengthen our political, economic and people-to-people ties,” she said.
“Our discussions today have once again shown that there is much to gain by sharing our experiences in various fields such as capacity building. On our part we are ready to give as much assistance as we can and share all our experience with CARICOM countries. For instance, during his visit to the region in 2014 Prime Minister Modi had offered to share India`s experience in IT sector and we have been setting up IT Centres of Excellence in various countries of LAC region.
We would be happy to extend cooperation to set up such centres in the countries who do not yet have them,” she added.
Swaraj further said that India has been offering concessional financial credit to some CARICOM countries for projects in sectors such as irrigation, drinking water, infrastructure, agriculture and renewable energy and would be happy to extend such soft loans to other countries in CARICOM as well.
She said India would be happy to share their experiences on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that was adopted during the UN Summit in September 2015 and looks forward to cooperate with all CARICOM countries on various global issues in multilateral forums.
Earlier, Swaraj also held Bilateral meetings with Norways Foreign Minister Borge Brende and Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Didier Reynders.
She also attended the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Ministerial Meeting on Palestine and reaffirmed India’s support for the Palestinian people and the Palestinian cause at the United Nations General Assembly.
“It is a personal honour for me to be here today. India`s support for the Palestinian people and the Palestinian cause is historical, going back to a period before our own independence,” Sushma said.
“For independent India, support for the Palestinian cause has been a reference point of its foreign policy,” she added.
The Indian Foreign Minister arrived in New York on Sunday for seven days during which she is holding of back-to-back engagements centring around the UN General Assembly, including her first meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Conclusively, Sushma Swaraj is set to have several bilateral meetings and multilateral commitments, apart from speaking at the U.N. general debate on September 23.