PM Modi and Austrian Chancellor agree to strengthen ties, discuss conflict in Ukraine and West Asia

by IANS |

Vienna, July 10 (IANS) India and Austria have identified "new possibilities" to further strengthen mutual cooperation besides also deciding to give a strategic direction to their bilateral ties, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced here on Wednesday.

Making a joint statement along with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, Prime Minister Modi, who arrived in Vienna from Moscow on Tuesday evening, said that he also held detailed discussions on the current geopolitical situation in the world.

"Chancellor Nehammer and I have discussed in detail all the ongoing disputes in the world, whether it is the conflict in Ukraine or the situation in West Asia. I have said it earlier also that this is not the time for war," he said.

PM Modi noted that mutual trust and shared interests have strengthened India-Austria relations.

"Today I had a very fruitful conversation with Chancellor Nehammer. Shared beliefs in values such as democracy and the rule of law are the strong foundation of India-Austria relations. We both strongly condemn terrorism. We agree that it is not acceptable in any form. It cannot be justified in any way. We also agree to reform the United Nations and other international organizations to make them contemporary and effective," he said.

Earlier, the PM was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Federal Chancery as he began his landmark visit to Austria, the first by an Indian Prime Minister to the country in 41 years.

Scripting a new chapter in bilateral relations, he was warmly received by Chancellor Nehammer who had last week called the Indian Prime Minister's visit to Vienna as a "special honour".

The Austrian Chancellor hosted PM Modi for a private engagement as the Indian PM arrived from Moscow on Tuesday evening. This was the first meeting between the two leaders and comes at a time when the two countries are marking 75 years of diplomatic relations. He said that discussions on realising the "full potential" of bilateral partnership lie ahead.

Prime Minister Modi thanked Chancellor Nehammer for the "warm welcome" and said that he was looking forward to the discussions on Wednesday as both nations continue working together to further global good. Besides holding talks with Chancellor Nehammer, PM Modi is also scheduled to call on Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, address business leaders from India and Austria and interact with members of the Indian community in Vienna.

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