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Statement by External Affairs Minister at the Media Interaction following Meeting with Foreign Minister of Croatia

September 03, 2021

Excellency Foreign Minister Radman
Friends of the Media

Let me begin by first saying that I am really really glad to be here. As the Foreign Minister told you, this is the first visit by an Indian foreign Minister. But I am sure that it is a visit that will open up many more chapters in our cooperation. Giving our strong and time tested friendship further momentum. So, I very much value my being here and I thank you for going out of your way to change your scheduling to make this visit possible.

As soon as I arrived here, the Prime Minister was kind enough to receive me. We had a very good meeting. We discussed our bilateral cooperation as also, the situation in Afghanistan. I was very glad to hear the Croatian perspective on this. And, I of course shared my views.

To the Prime Minister, I conveyed the greetings of Prime Minister Modi and also the best wishes for the 30th Anniversary of Croatia’s independence. This is also the 75th year of India’s Independence and I thanked the Foreign Minister, my dear friend, for associating himself personally with these celebrations.

Both in the call on the Prime Minister and in our discussions, we talked about how to increase our economic cooperation. There are a lot of opportunities in the pharmaceutical sector, in the digital sector, in infrastructure, where, we believe that Indian companies have found Croatia a very good platform to operate and invest in.

There are already companies from Croatia operating in India. Some of them have secured some important contracts for example, in the railways sector. We would certainly welcome more active efforts to cooperate in the defence sector after the agreement which is being concluded. Tourism is another important area. Infact, just as we finished our talks, we were talking about expanding air connectivity between our countries.

I think, on international issues, we share a lot of common positions and perspectives. It was very apparent in our discussion on Indo-Pacific, on our discussion on Afghanistan, on our resolve how to counter terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

I very much valued the perspectives that I heard from the Croatian side about the EU, about the further prospects of the EU, about your own region. I think it is very helpful for us to get a better understanding of what is happening.

So, once again, in conclusion, I would like to thank you for the invitation. I hope, very much, that I would have an opportunity to welcome you Minister, in India, at a time of convenience, and I would think that today’s meeting, the high level contacts that we have established, would be very important in taking our relationship forward.

Thank You.
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