Madrid: Ahead of talks with his Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday that terrorism posed the biggest challenge to the world and fighting it was a key element in India-Spain ties.
“Both India and Spain have faced terrorism,” Modi said while jointly addressing the media with Rajoy at La Moncloa, the official residence of the Spanish Prime Minister. “Terrorism and extremism pose the biggest challenge to the world today.
“Strengthening cooperation between us in the fight against terrorism is a key element of our bialteral agenda.”
Modi’s comments came as he condemned a huge explosion in Kabul on Wednesday that killed scores of people and injured hundreds.
Modi arrived here from Germany on Tuesday on the second leg of his six-day, four-nation tour of Europe that will also take him to Russia and France.
This is the first Indian Prime Ministerial visit to Spain in nearly 30 years since Rajiv Gandhi paid a trip in 1988. Modi and Rajoy last met on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Turkey in November 2015.
Modi said that though India and Spain completed 60 years of diplomatic ties last year, an Indian Prime Ministerial visit was happening for the first time after 1988. “I hope there will not be such a huge gap in the future.”
He said that in today’s changing global perspective, close consultations between friendly nations on regional and global developments were the need of the day.
Stating Spain had made rapid strides in its economy, Modi said his government’s top priority too was India’s economic growth and development.
He said Spain can offer its expertise to India’s development priorities like railways, smart cities and infrastructure.
“I am confident that my visit to Spain will give fresh momentum to our ties,” he said.
On his part, Rajoy said bilateral ties would deepen following Modi’s visit to Spain.
After his meeting with Rajoy, Modi will call on Spanish King Felipe VI.
Modi will also hold a round-table interaction with a group of Spanish CEOs who are keen to invest and expand their presence in India. There are around 200 Spanish companies operating in India.