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India-Spain Joint Statement during the visit of Prime Minister to Spain (May 31, 2017)

May 31, 2017

At the invitation of President of Spain Mariano Rajoy, the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi paid an official visit to Spain on 30 – 31 May 2017.

Prime Minister Modi called on His Majesty King Felipe VI. They exchanged views on the various aspects of bilateral relations and expressed their commitment to further strengthening India-Spain ties.

The two leaders held fruitful discussions on bilateral, regional and global issues reflecting a wide convergence in mutual views. They acknowledged the progress in bilateral relations in recent years and committed to further strengthen them based on common values and a shared vision of constructive globalization, for ensuring the prosperity and well being of all. Both leaders acknowledged that India and Spain share a strong commitment to principles and values of democracy, freedom, rule of law, respect for human rights and territorial integrity of States. They also recognized their common responsibility towards ensuring international peace and security, promotion of free trade, open and inclusive international order and environmental sustainability.

Both leaders acknowledged the importance of their global partnership in dealing with key global challenges including climate change, fight against international terrorism and non proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and committed to further strengthen their bilateral and multilateral cooperation in these issues.

1.- Cooperation on Political and Security Affairs.

President Rajoy and Prime Minister Modi expressed satisfaction at the results of the political dialogue held at the Secretary of State level on 16 May 2017. Both leaders tasked their Ministers of Defence to deepen the bilateral dialogue established in 2015 with the aim of strengthening bilateral defence cooperation. They welcomed the recent entry into force of the Agreement on Classified Information which together with the Joint Memorandum of Cooperation in Defence of 2012 established the basis for strong defence cooperation between both countries. Both leaders welcomed efforts to further cooperation between defence industries, including co-development and co-production agreements and technological cooperation. In particular in the advanced aerospace sector it will include the participation of the Spanish Defence Industry in the Make in India programme for the Indian defence market and third country exports. The two leaders called for early finalization of negotiations between the two Ministries of Defence on a Technical Agreement for Exchange of White Shipping Data.

President Rajoy and Prime Minister Modi acknowledged the progress made in the negotiations held in New Delhi on 23 May 2017 on a bilateral Agreement on Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy. They also expressed satisfaction on the conclusion of the second round of the bilateral Security Policy Dialogue held on 23 May 2017 in New Delhi. Both leaders expressed their continued commitment to strengthen global non-proliferation objectives. Prime Minister Modi thanked President Rajoy for Spain’s support for India’s membership of the MTCR. President Rajoy expressed Spain’s continued support for India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Wassenaar Arrangement and Australia Group.

President Rajoy and Prime Minister Modi recognized that terrorism poses the gravest threat to international peace and stability and expressed their strong commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Both leaders condemned the recent terrorist attack in Manchester. They stressed that there should be zero tolerance to terrorism and that there can be no justification whatsoever for any act of terror. We reiterate that the fight against terrorism requires a robust international cooperation, and we call on all the States to fully implement SC Resolution 1373 and all other relevant SC Resolutions, by establishing strong legal provisions against terrorism, terrorist networks, incitement to terrorism and financing for terrorism, and by satisfaying requests from other States for cooperation against terrorism. The fight against terrorism is conceived to disrupt and defeat terror organizations and networks. States and entities which encourage, support, finance terrorism, provide sanctuary to terrorists and glorify terrorism should be subjected to international laws including restrictive measures and strong condemnation by all law abiding members of the international community.

Prime Minister Modi and President Rajoy expressed their strong commitment to reinforce their cooperation in the fight against terrorism, through regular bilateral consultations and cooperation and in the international fora. The two leaders called on the international community to end selective or partial approaches to combating terrorism and in this regard jointly called for the early finalization and adoption of a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism by the UNGA. They also reaffirmed the importance of a comprehensive security-cum-development approach to counter terrorism which, interalia, involves paying due attention to the fight against radicalisation and violent extremism and to the role of victims, which are instrumental in building narratives against the spread of terrorism and radical, violence prone ideologies.

They took note with satisfaction of the progress made on the negotiations for an Agreement for bilateral cooperation in the fight against International Terrorism, Transnational Organized crime, and Traffic of Illegal Drugs, Narcotics, Psychotropic substances and Chemical Precursors, which will establish the grounds for an enhanced cooperation in these areas, and committed to complete negotiations by the end of 2017.

President Rajoy and Prime Minister Modi exchanged views on shared regional and global priorities pertaining to international peace and security and agreed to deepen consultations and cooperation in the following areas:

  • They decided to continue the dialogue and cooperation on terrorism between the concerned Ministries and the security agencies, in order to share best practices, experiences and reinforce and speed up cooperation on the ground.
  • They discussed the challenges present in cyberspace and committed to further their dialogue, both bilaterally, and through a closer coordination in the international fora. They welcomed the signing of a bilateral MOU on Cyber Security.
  • They stressed the importance of enhancing the common understanding on security and strategic issues of mutual interest relating to the Asia Pacific, Europe, the Mediterranean, and Latin America and urged greater bilateral contacts including through Indian and Spanish Think Tanks.
They welcomed the MOU on cooperation between the Diplomatic Academies of the two countries and expressed their hope that this will enhance mutual understanding between the two Foreign Ministries.

In keeping with expanding India-Spain relations, Prime Minister Modi announced opening of an Indian Consulate in Barcelona. President Rajoy welcomed the move stating that it would help in further deepening bilateral economic, cultural and people to people ties.

2. Economic Cooperation: Partners for growth and development

The two leaders welcomed the recent positive developments in bilateral trade and investment partnership, buoyed by the positive economic outlook in both countries and called for stronger ties between the businesses of the two countries.

During the meeting with Prime Minister Modi, CEOs of Spanish Business and Industry expressed strong support for the economic reforms in India and highlighted their keen interest to participate actively in various flagship programmes including Make in India, Smart Cities, Digital India, Swachh Bharat, Start Up India, Skill India and other Initiatives.

President Rajoy congratulated Prime Minister Modi on India’s fast economic growth and the Indian Government’s various measures to improve Ease of Doing Business and boost manufacturing growth. He lauded the Make in India, Digital India, Clean India, Start-Up India and the Smart Cities Mission initiatives and urged Spanish companies to participate actively. Prime Minister Modi complimented President Rajoy on the turn around and growth of the Spanish economy and the good prospects in the coming years and the transformation of Spain into an open, competitive, export and quality oriented economy. Both leaders agreed on the need to preserve and further develop open trade and a business friendly investment scenario in both countries, and considered that policies towards protectionism may weaken international trade and have a negative impact in global economy.

President Rajoy welcomed the efforts of the Indian Government to provide a positive business environment in India for foreign companies and to further international investment, for which, adequate protection of investments and legal certainty are instrumental. He also emphasized the importance that Spain attaches in the coming months to solid progress on the India-EU BTIA, which may facilitate further Spanish and European investments in India.

Recognizing the expertise of Spanish companies in areas such as energy, including renewable, nuclear, and grids; and transport infrastructure, including trains, roads, ports and transport network management, the two leaders welcomed further collaboration in these areas. Prime Minister Modi called for active participation of Spanish companies in India’s ambitious SmartCities projects. The two leaders welcomed the ongoing collaboration between the two countries in the field of railway transportation and the excellent prospects for future cooperation in this field. President Rajoy welcomed the positive contributions being made by Indian companies to the Spanish economy in the fields such as information technology, pharmaceuticals and automobiles.

Both leaders welcomed the holding of an India-Spain Business Summit in India in the later half of 2017 to promote trade and investment cooperation between the two countries.

Both heads of Government reflected on the central role of energy and energy management in providing a stable environment for development and growth. Prime Minister Modi appreciated the global reputation of Spanish renewable energy companies and their ongoing projects in India. He called for further participation of Spanish renewable energy companies in India in support of India’s ambitious renewable energy programme to achieve 175 GW of renewable power by 2022. Both heads of Government took note with satisfaction of the extension of the MoU on Renewable Energies between both Ministries of Energy and of the recent signature of a Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation on Ports.

President Rajoy and Prime Minister Modi welcomed the holding of the inaugural meeting of the India-Spain CEO Forum in Madrid on 31 May 2017 and the valuable recommendations submitted by the Chairs of the Forum.

The two leaders expressed their support to the II Spain India Forum that will take place in Madrid in November 2017 co-organized by the Spain India Council Foundation and the Confederation of Indian Industry. The Spain India Forum is a platform to promote investments, business linkages and people to people contacts.

Prime Minister Modi welcomed Spain’s participation as a Partner country in the World India Food Summit in New Delhi in November 2017.

President Rajoy and Prime Minister Modi also recalled the importance of connectivity between both countries and welcomed the commencement of a new direct flight between Delhi and Madrid in December 2016, operated by Air India. They expressed hope that the direct flights between the two Capitals will intensify the people-to-people exchanges especially in the tourism and business sectors. In the area of Civil Aviation, they welcomed the signature of the bilateral MoU for the implementation of the EU – India Horizontal Agreement of 2008 in Nassau, in December 2016, and the bilateral Memorandum of Understanding in the Sphere of Civil Aviation signed during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Spain.

Both leaders recognized the immense potential for strengthening cooperation in the field of tourism and agreed to set up a high level panel of 3 experts from each side, representing government, industry and technology sector, to submit a report in 2018 containing recommendations on building synergies in the tourism sector including areas of cooperation with the Madrid based UNTWO.

They welcomed the ongoing negotiations for a bilateral Agreement on Customs Cooperation and expressed their intention to conclude them by the end of 2017.

President Rajoy underlined the strong cultural, linguistic, economic and historic links of Spain with Latin-America and noted the significant potential of this area for Indian investment and trade cooperation.

3. Cooperation in Multilateral, regional and global affairs
United Nations

Both countries underlined their unwavering commitment to the principles and objectives of the United Nations and its centrality in international affairs.

Both countries underlined their existing close cooperation on multilateral issues specifically during Spain’s membership of the Security Council (2015-2016) and, expressed their commitment to continue their cooperation in the future. They called for increased consultations on multilateral issues, between the two foreign ministries and their respective Missions to various multilateral organizations.

President Rajoy and Prime Minister Modi acknowledged the need for a comprehensive reform of the United Nations, including its Security Council and shared their views on how to expand its membership to make it more representative of the contemporary geo-political realities and effective, credible and responsive to the existing challenges to international peace and security.

EU – India relations

Both leaders underlined the importance of EU – India relations and the need to deepen the existing EU – India dialogues. They acknowledged the positive results of 2016 EU – India Summit in March 2016, which marked a new momentum in the EU – India relations. They reconfirmed their commitment to the EU-India Agenda for Action 2020 and to the development of cooperation in the areas of foreign and security policy, trade and investment, global issues, natural movement of persons and people to people contacts.

They addressed the shared interest of the two sides to further engage on the India-EU Broadbased Trade and Investment Agreement and expressed the need to restart negotiations soon.

President Rajoy explained Spain’s position in the EU, as a country fully committed with the European Project, and with the main policies and instruments of the European Union.

Regional Issues

Both leaders underlined that the ongoing conflicts in North Africa and the Middle East poses major security threats in Europe and Asia, such as terrorism, threats to security of navigation in the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean and illegal migration.

They noted that the countries of the Maghreb region and southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean are crucial to Europe’s security and stability, underscoring the key role they play in addressing global challenges such as fight against terrorism. On the situation in Libya, they underscored the urgent need for reconciliation under the auspices of the ongoing efforts as well as the need to coordinate initiatives. They also recognized the need for promoting regional integration and constructive dialogue among the countries of the Mediterranean by supporting regional cooperation and dialogue initiatives.

Spain and India decided to discuss Mediterranean issues of mutual interest.

The two leaders noted that they share the common goal of working to promote peace and stability in the Middle East. They emphasized the necessity of dialogue as a means of consolidating political solutions for conflicts in the region. Both countries reiterated the two state solution as the framework to achieve just and durable peace in the region.

Freedom of Navigation

President Rajoy and Prime Minister Modi reiterated their commitment to the freedom of navigation and overflight and unimpeded commerce based on the principles of international law, as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). They urged all parties to resolve disputes through peaceful means without resorting to threat or use of force, exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities, and avoid unilateral actions that raise tensions. Regarding the South China Sea, the two Heads of Government stressed the importance of resolving the disputes in accordance with the universally recognized principles of international law, including the UNCLOS.

Security in the Korean Peninsula

The two Heads of Government expressed grave concern on North Korea's continued development of its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, including uranium enrichment activities, and strongly urged North Korea to refrain from such actions which adversely impact peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula, and to fully comply with its international obligations and commitments. The two leaders called upon DPRK and all relevant parties to take early and effective steps to realise denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed their determination to cooperate in the relevant fora against proliferation activities posing a regional and global threat.


The two leaders expressed their support for peace, stability, prosperity, security and integrity of Afghanistan. They called for early peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan through an Afghan owned and Afghan led process in keeping with internationally accepted redlines.

Global issues
Climate change and water access and management

Climate action is a key priority for both India and Spain. The two leaders reiterated their commitment to implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, its Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement.

Both Heads of Government have agreed to strengthen the bilateral cooperation to foster effective initiatives, to facilitate the transfer or access to environmentally sound technologies and know how, and to promote collaboration among different stakeholders to increase our resilience to the adverse impacts of climate change in Spain and India.

Both leaders stressed the urgency to implement a sustainable water management. They have agreed to foster the development of infrastructures and water services with the help of public-private partnerships, as well as to encourage the efficient use of water throughout the urban, rural and industrial sector and to promote waste water treatment to guarantee one basic human right, which is the access to drinking water and sanitation.

4. People to People Contacts, Culture, Education and Health

A strong partnership between Indian and Spanish businesses, think tanks, media and Civil Societies is instrumental to further strengthen bilateral ties. Prime Minister Modi and President Rajoy called for intensification of these interactions between both countries. They recognized the valuable contributions of institutions such as India - Spain Council Foundation, which have a complementary role to that of Governments in enhancing stronger links between the Indian and the Spanish societies.

The two leaders recognized the importance of the cultural traditions in India and Spain and their remarkably rich cultural panorama. They stressed the mutual interest in further strengthening India – Spain cultural cooperation including cinema, and the reinforcement of cooperation among cultural institutions of both countries such as Casa Asia in Barcelona, Instituto Cervantes in New Delhi and Casa de la India in Valladolid.

The two leaders welcomed the ongoing student exchanges and called for enhanced bilateral academic exchanges including through the establishment of ICCR supported Chairs of Indian studies at various Universities in Spain. They welcomed the holding of a Sanskrit Roundtable in Spain in the autumn of 2017 with the support of the Indian Ministry of Culture.

In the field of health, both leaders recognized the global reputation of Spanish system for organ and tissue transplants and achievements made in India in this field in the recent times and welcomed the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate in this area between both Ministries of health.

The two leaders also welcomed the signing of an Agreement on Transfer of Sentenced Persons.

The two leaders looked forward to the early signature of the Twining Agreement between the cities of Valladolid and Ahmedabad.

The two leaders welcomed the signing of the Agreement for the exemption of Diplomatic Passport Visas and of the Agreement to facilitate in both countries the employment of dependants of personnel posted in diplomatic and consular missions.

Both leaders welcomed the growing support for Yoga and called for enthusiastic participation in International Yoga Day events in June 2017.

President Rajoy complimented the contributions of the Indian community in Spain in different spheres of life. Prime Minister Modi announced the installation of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the request of the Indian origin community in the Canary Islands.

President Rajoy announced to Prime Minister Modi Spain’s intention to organize in 2020 a Year of Spain in India to further our exchanges and mutual understanding in the fields of culture, science, economy and interaction between our civil societies.

5. Science and Technology and Innovation

President Rajoy and Prime Minister Modi emphasized the importance of science and technology and innovation for sustainable economic development and acknowledged the excellence achieved by both countries in this field.

Both leaders welcomed the completed and ongoing rounds of successful joint funding of research and development projects by the two countries in priority areas including clean energy, health, biotechnology, agricultural technology, food processing, smart cities, information technology and nanotechnology under the ongoing India Spain Joint Programme of Cooperation signed in 2009. They welcomed the decision to hold Science, Technology and Innovation Steering Committee Meeting between Spain and India in September 2017 in Spain. They stressed upon the importance of maximizing cooperation in innovation and tapping into new opportunities for cooperation under EU Horizon2020 Programme.

The two leaders welcomed the ongoing innovation driven joint R&D projects in sectors such as biosensors, biopesticides, bioeconomy, waste to energy, e-health and flexible electronics. They welcomed the coordination between India and Spain at multilateral initiatives and platforms such as Infect-ERA for infectious diseases, Inno-INDIGO for bioeconomy and EMBO for molecular biology.

Both leaders welcomed the recently concluded MoU between the National Renewable Energy Centre (CENER) of Spain and the National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) of India.

They agreed to increase cooperation in the fields of blue economy, astrophysics, biotechnology, life sciences and oncology and develop synergies to successfully address the sustainable development agendas of both countries. This includes developing a Strategic Alliance on oncology and setting up of a Spain-India biotech corridor.

Prime Minister Modi thanked President Rajoy for the warm hospitality extended to him and his delegation and the arrangements made for his visit to Spain.

Prime Minister Modi invited President Rajoy to visit India at his earliest convenience.



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