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India welcomes the Netherlands into ISA, the two sides sign 10 agreements


New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday welcomed the entry of the Netherlands into the International Solar Alliance (ISA). In a joint statement, issued after delegation level talks between Mr. Modi and Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte who is on a two-day visit to India, New Delhi welcomed the signing of the Framework Agreement of the ISA by the Netherlands. The two Prime Ministers urged research institutions and industry to collaborate, including in third countries, to promote greater use of solar technologies through the ISA that will also benefit the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. India and the Netherlands signed ten agreements, mainly relating to smart cities, knowledge institutions, high-tech IT and Space, life sciences and health. ``Many Indian companies, which are active in the Netherlands, are helping us to build a more successful & more resilient society. I look forward to all the future meetings,’’ Prime Minister Rutte said. On his part, Mr. Modi said the areas of agriculture and food processing are important to India, and Netherlands has expertise in both the fields. ``I am happy to share that Indo-Dutch Centre of Excellence for Vegetables has started in Pune's Baramati,’’ Mr. Modi said. Noting that the Netherlands hosts the second largest Indian Diaspora in Europe, both Prime Ministers welcomed the strengthening of direct air connectivity between two countries. The two Prime Ministers noted with satisfaction that the number of daily direct flights between the two countries has risen from a single flight in 2015 to five today; largely owing to the partnership between KLM and Jet Airways. They also agreed that a liberal visa regime is in the interest of promoting greater people-to-people contacts and forging stronger business links. The two Leaders held wide ranging and constructive discussions on a wide variety of regional and international issues. They underlined the growing convergence between the two countries and agreed to deepen and strengthen the longstanding historical bonds of friendship between the two peoples spanning over four centuries. Prime Minister Rutte was accompanied by a high-level ministerial delegation and senior officials. Both he and Mr. Modi called for expansion of ongoing collaboration in the fields of agriculture and food processing, water, technology, smart city development, cyber space, health care, clean energy and finance. The Leaders also welcomed the opening of a new Dutch Consulate General in Bengaluru. The two leaders shared the view that the world is rapidly transforming and is confronted with new challenges which require commitment and cooperation of all stakeholders. ``Not only is there a need to ensure that globalization is open and fair, but also for all like-minded countries to come together to tackle with issues such as poverty, hunger, job creation, energy security, human rights, gender inequality, climate change, terrorism, and the depletion of natural resources,’’ the joint statement said. The statement stressed that terrorism cannot be justified on any grounds whatsoever it may be and should not be associated with any religion, creed, nationality or ethnicity. The two Prime Ministers also called upon all countries to work towards rooting out terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupting terrorist networks and their financing channels, and halting cross-border movement of terrorists including foreign fighters. The leaders agreed that terrorist and extremist organisations need to be denied space to radicalise, recruit, and conduct attacks on innocent people. They deplored the violence caused by Al Qaeda, Daesh/ISIS, Jaish-e-Mohammed, HizbulMujahideen, Lashkar-e-Tayabba, and their affiliates as well as terrorist groups threatening peace and security in South Asia and Europe. Mr. Rutte’s visit comes within a year of Prime Minister Modi’s visit to The Netherlands last June. It was his second visit to India since June 2015, but the first after being re-elected as Prime Minister in 2017.Mr. Rutte will be visiting Bengaluru on Friday to see the ISRO campus. The Netherlands is the 5th largest investor in India with a cumulative investment of US$ 23 billion in the past 17 years. The Netherlands is also home to a 235,000 strong Indian Diaspora, the largest in mainland Europe.

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