New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar paid an official visit to Slovakia on June 2 and 3 and to Czech Republic on June 4 and 5.
The visit to Slovakia, undertaken at the invitation of Ivan Korčok, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovakia, was the first ever visit at the level of foreign Minister since its creation in 1993.
India and Slovakia share close and friendly ties based on common values of democracy, rule of law, freedom and equality.
On 03 June, Dr Jaishankar participated in the GLOBSEC 2022 Forum held in Bratislava and spoke on the topic ‘Taking Friendship to the Next Level: Allies in the Indo-Pacific Region’.
On the bilateral front, EAM called on H.E. Mr Eduard Heger, Prime Minister of Slovakia and had delegation-level talks with Foreign Minister Korčok. He thanked the Slovak side for their assistance in the evacuation of 1115 Indian students from Ukraine.
He also appreciated the mutual recognition of Vaccine certificates between India and Slovakia which has greatly facilitated travel between the two countries.
Both sides discussed the expanding cooperation in trade, investment and defence sectors.
He invited FM Korčok to visit India and conveyed that the rapidly growing private sector, as well as the opening of the Defence industry, had led to considerable ease in doing business.
FM Korčok conveyed his interest in visiting India with a large business delegation in the coming months.
Dr Jaishankar also invited Slovakia to join the International Solar Alliance. Both sides also exchanged views on regional as well as multilateral issues including Ukraine, the EU and the Indo-Pacific.
He also interacted with a cross-section of Indian community, including students. He appreciated their role in strengthening the bilateral relations as well as in promoting people-to-people ties between the two countries.
On the sidelines of the GLOBSEC 2022 Forum, EAM met Alexander Schallenberg, Minister of European and International Affairs of Austria. FM Schallenberg warmly recalled his visit to India in March 2022 and conveyed that it was very productive and had led to further strengthening of our partnership.
The two Ministers also exchanged views on regional and multilateral issues, including the Ukraine conflict and its implications.
Dr Jaishankar also called on Milo Đukanović, President of Montenegro. Both leaders noted the friendly ties between the two countries and the close cooperation in the multilateral field.
They discussed ways to expand our relations across sectors especially in the areas of investment, culture, tourism and renewable energy.
The Montenegrin President appreciated our ongoing collaboration in the field of ITEC and invited EAM to visit Montenegro in the coming months.
Dr Jaishankar isited Czech Republic at the invitation of Mr. Jan Lipavský, Minister of Foreign Affairs. India and Czech Republic have historically enjoyed warm and friendly relations which have been strengthened in the last several years.
During the delegation level talks, the two leaders discussed the entire gamut of bilateral relations, including political, economic, defence & security, S&T, cultural and people to people ties.
Both sides appreciated that bilateral trade had crossed over USD 2 billion. Discussions were also held on India-EU relations, including the upcoming Czech Presidency of the EU. Both sides agreed to work towards an early conclusion of the India-EU FTA. The leaders also exchanged views on the Indo Pacific and the Ukraine conflict.