India, Switzerland ink deals in railways

RSTV Bureau

India, Switzerland inked two pacts for cooperation in the railway sector on Thursday in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Swiss President Doris Leuthard.

The two leaders noted that India and Switzerland had very good cooperation on combating tax evasion and black money.

PM Narendra Modi & Mrs Doris Leuthard President of Swiss confederation at the Joint Press Statement at Hyderabad House

PM Narendra Modi & Mrs Doris Leuthard President of Swiss confederation at the Joint Press Statement at Hyderabad House

Addressing a joint press session with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she said they discussed ways to operationalise the Paris climate accord and the gradual replacing of fossil energy with renewable sources.

In her opening remarks, Leuthard, who is on a three-day visit, expressed her condolences to the families of the victims of flooding in Mumbai, triggered by torrential rains throughout the day on Tuesday.

“During our conversation, we also discussed climate change and its effects and negative impact on society and that is why India and Switzerland are very much engaged in all these discussions on how we can make operational the Paris agreement, on how we can replace fossil energy with renewable energy,” she said.

Leuthard was hopeful of the law on automatic exchange of information being cleared by the Swiss Parliament by the end of this year.

Earlier, Switzerland President who is on India visit held extensive talks on bilateral, regional and international issues and also discussed ways to deepen bilateral cooperation in combating tax evasion and black money.

Prime Modi thanked the visiting dignitary for her country’s support for India’s entry into the Nuclear Supplier’s Group (NSG). India is grateful to Switzerland for supporting India’s membership in the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), he added.

“We had productive talks on international, regional and bilateral issues,” Modi said at a joint press event with Leuthard.

Asserting that transparency in financial transactions was a matter of concern worldwide, the prime minister said bilateral cooperation with Switzerland in the area continued.

Earlier in the day, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on the Swiss president and discussed various bilateral issues.

“First engagement for an honoured guest.  External Affairs Minister SushmaSwaraj called on President Leuthard and discussed wide-ranging issues of mutual interest,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

Leuthard, who is on a three-day visit, was also given a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The Swiss president is accompanied by senior government officials and a large business delegation of leading Swiss companies.

Swiss presidents have visited India on three occasions earlier — in 1998, 2003 and 2007.

PM Narendra Modi & Mrs Doris Leuthard President of Swiss confederation at the Joint Press Statement at Hyderabad House

PM Narendra Modi & Mrs Doris Leuthard President of Swiss confederation at the Joint Press Statement at Hyderabad House

Modi visited Switzerland in June last year. During the visit, the country announced its support to India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

The two countries had also resolved to strengthen cooperation in combating tax evasion and black money.