Calling his 2-nation visit to Sweden and Belarus successful, President Pranab Mukherkjee has expressed hope that India will get a permanent membership in United Nation Security Council (UNSC). Appreciating the stand taken by the governments of Sweden and Belarus, the President viewed the visits will enhance the co-operation between India and the two nations.
“Both countries have been supportive of India’s claim for permanent membership of the UN Security Council. I took the opportunity to brief both leaderships on the economic situation in India as well as about policy initiatives of the government,” a press statement released by the office of the President read.
The President thanked the two countries for their stand backing a permanent Indian representation at the UN Security Council. This is first ever state visit by an Indian President to the two countries.
“My visits to Sweden and Belarus were first visits ever by an Indian President to either country. They reflect the renewed emphasis that India places on further enhancing our partnership with these two countries,” the press release from the President’s office added.
President Mukherjee was accompanied by Ghulam Nabi Azad, the leader of Opposition in upper house, MoS for Chemical and Fertilizers Hansraj Ahir and Congress MP Ashwini Kumar. According to the President’s office, heads of seven leading academic institutions, and a large 120 member delegation representing FICCI, CII and ASSOCHAM too visited the capital cities of Stockholm and Minsk. The Presidential visit also emphasised on the need to push trade and economic relations with the two countries.
As per the office of the President, six intergovernmental agreements were signed with Sweden. The agreements covered cooperation in the fields of urban development, medium and small-scale enterprises, polar research, civil nuclear research and medicine.
“Seventeen MoUs were further signed between educational institutions, think tanks and the Chambers of Commerce of the two countries,“ the release further read.
Before Sweden, President Pranab Mukherhjee paid two-day visit to Belarus, where he had unveiled the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the Belarusian State University campus. The President was also awarded with an honourary degree at the premier university of Belarus.
“The University conferred upon me Professor Honoris Causa, which I was pleased to accept as manifestation of the high regard and affection of the people of Belarus towards India,” President Pranab Mukherjee had said.
Taking the ties forward in a one-to-one meeting with his Belarusian counterpart AG Lukashenko, President Mukherjee discussed increasing trade ties between the two countries besides boosting co-operation in the field of mining, education and heavy machinery.