India, Portugal hold third round of foreign consultations


New Delhi: In Lisbon, India and Portugal held their third round of Foreign Office Consultations (FOCs), assessing their bilateral relationship and discussing how they could work together on areas such as defence, culture and people-to-people interactions.

Sanjay Verma, Secretary (West) in MEA, and Representative Rui Vinhas, Director General for Foreign Affairs at the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs co-chaired the consultations. Diplomat Verma also spoke to Francisco Andre, Portugal’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, according to a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

commitment at the highest political level

The two sides conducted a thorough assessment of their bilateral relationship, focusing on issues such as high-level political engagements, implementation of the Migration and Mobility Agreement, strengthening trade and economic ties, and exploring new and existing cooperation in fields of science and technology , defense, cultural and interpersonal relationships, etc.

The two sides agreed to work closely together on multilateral cooperation, including at the United Nations, the Communidade dos Paises da Lingua Portuguesa (CPLP), and at EU level, to follow up on the outcome of the EU-India Summit in Porto in May 2021 They also discussed regional and international issues of common interest.

Both nations are fighting climate change together

Both parties have also pledged to work together in brand new areas, including combating climate change, air connectivity, mutual recognition of academic qualifications and sustainable food. To explore cooperation with lusophone nations, the Secretary (West) also held in-depth discussions with CPLP Executive Secretary Zacarias da Costa.

The Indian side renewed their offer for the CPLP nations to attend the planned Lusophone Festival in Goa in December 2022. In July 2021, India joined the CPLP as an observer, the press release said.

Sensitization to millet

The Mission hosted a reception serving millet-based recipes to raise awareness of the 2023 International Year of Millet and food sustainability. Secretary (West) also interacted with other officials, academics, business leaders and members of the Indo-Portuguese community.

Strategic Europe-India dialogue planned

Prior to this meeting, the Indian delegation took part in the Europe-India Strategic Dialogue, a Track 1.5 project of the Anant-Aspen Centre, the Institut Montaigne in Paris and the Fundacao Oriente in Lisbon. Topics covered included connectivity, free trade, energy and regional security. During a roundtable discussion hosted by Fundacao Oriente, the Secretary (West) also spoke to Foreign Minister Joao Cravinho.

The historic and friendly bilateral relations between India and Portugal are based on shared commitments to democracy and sustainable development. These bonds are strengthened through regular high-level interactions. The next round of consultations will take place in New Delhi on a date that suits both parties.

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