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India, Spain call for UN reform,fight against terror,Iraq democracy

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, July 03 (UNI) India and Spain today called for urgent reform of the United Nations and conclusion of a global strategy against terrorism and stressed the need for restoration of democracy in Iraq through a political initiative.

The two countries also signed a Treaty for Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters and two Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) on Institutionalisation of Political Dialogue and between the Technology Development Board of India and the Centre for Development of Teechnology of Spain.

Visiting Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, after their hour-long official talks here this evening, said at a joint press conference that it was important to restore democracy in Iraq through political initiative and return to the people their sovereign right.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said there were no ''readymade solutions'' to Iraqi problems. ''...Iraqi problems can be resolved only by return of sovereignty to the Iraqi people.'' The Spanish Prime Minister said lot of lessons had to be learnt from Iraq and the most important thing was to ''consolidate democracy through a political initiative.'' The two countries also agreed to closely work towards closer cooperation in the Deefence sector, and boosting economic and trade relations, tourism and cultural and academic exchanges.

The Spanish Prime Minister arrived here yesterday on a three-day visit, the first Head of Government-level visit from either side in 13 years and comes on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The Spanish Prime Minister is accompanied by Minister of External Affairs and Cooperation Miguel Angel Moratinos, besides an official delegation and 50 senior Spanish businesspersons.

He will also visit Pune and Mumbai.

India's economic linkages with Spain are growing and bilateral trade has increased from around 900 million US dollars in 2000 to 2.7 billion dollars in 2005.

There is a growing trend of setting up of Indo-Spanish joint ventures in India. Some major Indian companies in automotive, pharmaceutical and IT sectors are present in Spain.

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