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Press Statement by President on his State Visit to Iceland

September 10, 2019

  • I am honoured to pay a State Visit to Iceland. I thank President Johannesson for his warm welcome and gracious hospitality. I am charmed by the beauty and warmth of Iceland and its people.
  • I had extensive discussion with President on all aspects of our relationship. We both conveyed our mutual commitment to further strengthen political ties, economic partnership and cultural understanding between the two countries. We also took stock of our global partnership and discussed ways to add fresh momentum to it.
  • Iceland-India relations are warm and friendly. Our shared values of democracy, freedom, the rule of law and respect for human rights bring our countries together. Today, we have signed Agreements and MOUs on fisheries collaboration, cultural cooperation and visa waiver for holders of diplomatic and official passport. These agreements will give a boost to our ties in diverse fields. I am also happy to announce that all formalities for commencement of India supported Hindi Chair at the University of Iceland have been completed and the teaching of Hindi language will begin shortly. I look forward to my address at the University on the theme: "India-Iceland for a Green Planet”.
  • On the economic side, there is significant potential to strengthen Iceland-India partnership. President Johannesson and I discussed how to enhance our trade, investment, technology and innovation collaborations. India has set a target to become a five trillion dollar economy by 2025. India’s transformative growth and Iceland’s technology and know-how can add immense value to each other. We are keen to leverage Iceland’s capacity in sustainable fishery, marine economy, shipping, green growth, energy, construction and agriculture sectors. On our side, Indian companies offer opportunities to Iceland in the fields of pharma, high-end IT services, biotechnology, automobile, innovation and start-ups. We both expressed satisfaction at the growing number of Indian tourists visiting Iceland. I underlined that India was also eager to receive more tourists from Iceland. On this visit, I am accompanied by 30 Indian companies. I eagerly look forward to addressing the India-Iceland Business Forum along with President Johannesson tomorrow.
  • President Johannesson and I discussed in detailed our global partnership. I congratulated him on Iceland assuming the chair of the Arctic Council and conveyed India’s desire to meaningfully contribute to its deliberations and outcomes. I reiterated India’s gratitude for the long-standing support that Iceland has expressed for India’s candidature for permanent membership of the UN Security Council.
  • We both noted the good work done in our two countries in the fight against climate change. I conveyed India’s strong support for the Paris Accord. India is on course to meet its commitments under it. We agreed to cooperate closely on climate change, marine litter and other environment related issues. I invited Iceland to join the International Solar Alliance led by India to promote solar energy worldwide. So far 75 countries have already become members of it.
  • We both agreed that terrorism poses a grave threat to humanity and committed to work together to strengthen the global fight against terrorism. India has been a victim of cross border terrorism for several decades. I thanked President Johannesson for Iceland’s support and solidarity in condemning Pulwama terror attack in India. We discussed that terrorism is the worst violation of basic human rights and it needs to be dealt with strongly in whichever form it appears. I thanked President Johannesson for his understanding for India’s core concerns.
  • India values her relations with Iceland, and is committed to developing it further. I look forward to working with President Johanneson to take our bilateral relations to a higher plane.
Takk Firir!
Thank you!

Reykjavik
September 10, 2019


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