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Minister of State for External Affairs Smt. Meenakashi Lekhi’s visit to Serbia (10-13 October, 2021)

October 14, 2021

Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture (MoS) Smt. Meenakashi Lekhi led the Indian delegation as the Special Envoy of the Prime Minister at the High Level Commemorative Meeting to mark the 60th anniversary of the Non-Aligned Movement held at Belgrade on 11-12 October, 2021.

2. In her address at the Plenary Session of the Conference, MoS called on NAM members to ensure continuing relevance and influence of NAM on global outcomes. She underscored the need for NAM to focus on core contemporary issues like climate change, terrorism and tackling the Covid19 pandemic. In this regard, MoS highlighted India’s contributions through supply of more than 70 million doses of vaccines to 93 countries, as a manifestation of its continuing commitment to meet the needs of the global south.

3. On the sidelines of the High Level NAM Meeting, MoS also held a bilateral meeting with General Jeje Odongo, Foreign Minister of Uganda, and discussed ways to further strengthen and revitalize NAM under the upcoming Chairmanship of Uganda from 2023.

4. During her visit, MoS called on H.E. Aleksandar Vučić, President of Serbia and H.E. Ana Brnabić, Prime Minister of Serbia. She also held detailed discussions on various aspects of our bilateral engagement in separate meetings with H.E. Mr. Branislav Nedimović, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, H.E. Mr. Nebojša Stefanović, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, H.E. Ms. Maja Gojković, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Culture and Information, H.E. Ms. Tatjana Matić, Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, and H.E. Mr. Nikola Selaković, Minister of Foreign Affairs. During these deliberations, both sides reiterated their shared desire to upgrade the relationship to a higher level. A Cultural Exchange Programme between India and Serbia was also signed during the visit.

5. The First Lady of Serbia H.E. Ms. Tamara Vučić joined MoS in a yoga master class along with Serbian yoga teachers and practitioners.

6. MoS addressed the teaching staff and students at the Faculty of Law, University of Belgrade. She also had an interaction with a select group of Indologists and Indophiles over a Luncheon meeting.

7. MoS visited Matica Srpska, a historical cultural institution, where she was gifted with Serbian translations of ancient Indian texts.

8. MoS paid her respects at the monuments erected in honour of Mahatma Gandhi and Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore.

9. The visit provided further momentum to the close and friendly relations between India and Serbia. Both sides agreed on expansion and diversification of partnership between the two countries.

New Delhi
October 14, 2021

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