Foreign Minister of Spain visit to India

Jun 15: H.E. Mr José Manuel Albares, Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Spain, paid his first official visit to India on 15 June 2022.

External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar held bilateral talks with the visiting Spanish Foreign Minister where they reviewed the full spectrum of the bilateral relationships. The two Ministers committed to adding new depth and content to the relationship. There were detailed discussions focused on enhancing cooperation in the key priority areas of trade and investments, people-to-people relationships, climate cooperation, green energy, science & technology, innovation and defence & security. They stressed the need for regular meetings of bilateral institutional mechanisms and early finalization of MoUs/Agreements under negotiation in various sectors. During the meeting, the Ministers signed the Joint Declaration of Intent on Cooperation in Cultural and Academic fields.

The two leaders welcomed the signing of the defence contract as part of which Airbus Spain will supply 56 C295 aircraft, 40 of which would be Made in India, and agreed to further deepen defence and security cooperation. India welcomed Spain’s interest in participating in its national defence manufacturing programme through Make in India and Atmanirbhar Bharat. They reiterated their commitment to closely work in countering common challenges related to terrorism, violent extremism and cybercrime.

They welcomed the growing bilateral trade and investment linkages and agreed to expand them in new areas of common interest. They noted with satisfaction that the bilateral trade has resurged beyond pre-Covid levels and there is significant potential to grow even further. They agreed that there are more opportunities in sectors like IT, Pharma and renewable and there are new and unexplored emerging areas like green hydrogen, electric mobility, advanced materials, and deep-sea exploration where the two countries can collaborate further.

The Ministers also exchanged views on a number of regional and global issues of mutual interest and noted the mutual understanding and support in addressing common challenges like climate change, global health, sustainable development and counter-terrorism.

They welcomed the restart of India-EU FTA negotiations later this month. In Ukraine, the two Ministers expressed their concern about the ongoing humanitarian crisis and called for an immediate cessation of hostilities. In Afghanistan, both sides highlighted the need for Afghanistan to have unhindered access to humanitarian assistance and that Afghan territory is not used by terror outfits for destabilising the region.

They emphasised the need to retain a strategic focus on the Indo-Pacific region and to promote collaborative efforts among like-minded nations. They agreed to explore collaboration in development partnerships and economic activities in the LAC region and in this context discussed Ibero-American Conference. Both Ministers appreciated the cooperation between India and Spain in the UN and other multilateral bodies.

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