New Delhi, June 9: Prime Minister Narendra Modi returned home after a five-nation tour which began on June 4. He visited Afghanistan, Qatar, Switzerland, US and Mexico in the trip which saw a number of significant steps being taken by India and the host nations. A few days ago, Modi also made a historic visit to Iran.
Here is a look at the high points of Modi's visit to each of these six countries:
IRAN (May 22-23): India and Iran signed 12 agreements ranging from a pact to develop the strategic Chahabar port to that of setting up an aluminium plant. They also inked one agreement on laying a railway line to give India connectivity to Afghanistan and Central Asia. Agreements were also signed on culture, science and academic cooperation. [Modi's best men will oversee implementation of Chabahar project]
AFGHANISTAN (June 4): PM Modi and Afghanistani President Ashraf Ghani formally inaugurated the $290-million Salma Dam by jointly pressing a remote-control button that sent water surging through turbines. The dam (Afghan-India Friendship Dam) will provide up to 42 MW power to the country's rapidly growing industrial hub and also irrigate region devastated by drought. Modi was also conferred Afghanistan's highest civilian award during this visit. [Evolving ties between India and Afghanistan]
QATAR (June 4-5): India and Qatar signed seven agreements to boost bilateral ties between them. The pacts were signed in the presence of Prime Minister Modi and Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani. The agreements are on investment and infrastructure, intelligence related to money laundering and terrorism-financing, skill development and entrepreneurship, tourism, health, youth and sports. [PM shares meal, interacts with Indian workers in Doha]
Modi, during this visit, also raised the issue of Indian workers facing abuse in Qatar and the latter assured to look into it. Qatar also released 23 Indian prisoners in the wake of Modi's visit.
SWITZERLAND (June 6): Modi also had a fruitful visit to Switzerland during which the latter backed India's bid to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). The two sides also supported each other on the non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council besides taking up the black money and tax evasion issue. Other issues that came up during the bilateral talks were: vocational education, renewable energy and investment in India. ['Modi shouldn't have visited Switzerland']
UNITED STATES (June 6-8): This was the most high-profile of all the visits since it involved the world's only superpower and India's own interests in key issues. During his fourth visit to the US in less than two years, Modi and US President Barack Obama spoke and presided over a number of issues. [Stories on Modi's visit to US]
- India gets green signal to get a ticket to the Missile Technology Control Regime
- Economic assistance for clean energy
- Cyber framework pact
- Recognition of India's role in Paris climate change agreement
- Asking Pakistan to punish those responsible for the terror attack in Pathankot in January 2016
- Agreement to boost defence and counter-terrorist cooperation
- Promote conservation efforts
- Clearance for entry into US
MEXICO (June 9): During Modi's visit to Mexico, the final country in his latest itinerary, he was driven to a restaurant for dinner by none other than the country's President Enrique Pena Nieto himself. Mexico backed India's NSG bid during the Indian PM's visit. [Mexico President drives PM Modi to restaurant]
The two countries also issued a joint statement during this brief visit by the Indian PM which mentioned, among others:
- Opportunities to define the path of the India-Mexico Privileged Partnership for the 21st Century that allows the growth of bilateral relations in economic field, science and technology and in most important issues of global agenda.
- Detailed exchange of views on regional issues of mutual interest, including the political and economic developments in Latin America, CELAC and the Pacific Alliance, as well as the current situation in the Asia-Pacific region.
- Promoting the investment and the use of solar energy. The two sides agreed to explore ways and means to boost objectives of the international solar alliance.
- Oportunities offered by the convergence between the National Digital Strategy of Mexico and the Digital India Initiative.