Netherlands Queen meets PM

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New Delhi, Oct 25: Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands met Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh here on Wednesday to boost bilateral ties between both countries, particularly in the fields of culture, trade and economy.

The two sides signed two agreements on cultural cooperation following discussions between Queen Beatrix and Dr. Singh.

The first agreement was signed between Minister for Culture and Tourism Ambika Soni and Netherlands Foreign Minister J M Verhagen and the second by
Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Director General Pavan Verma and Chairman of the Stichting Amsterdam-India Festival Simon Reinink.

The Queen, who visiting India after 21 years, met Vice President Hamid Ansari, Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani.

Bilateral trade between both countries is estimated to be nearly 2.28 billion dollars. Business houses in both countries are looking at the possibility of doubling this in the next five years.

Queen Beatrix is accompanied by Prince of Orange Willem-Alexander, his spouse Princess Maxima, Netherlands Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen, besides a high-level business delegation.

India is expecting the Netherlands to support it in the Nuclear Suppliers Group deliberations on the US-India civilian nuclear deal.

The Queen visited India in 1986 to spend her holidays in Rajasthan.


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