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Modi ramps up diaspora outreach in Caribbean

The meetings between leaders were on the margins of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention…reports Asian Lite News

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held bilateral meetings with the Presidents of Guyana and Suriname on the sidelines of the 17th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) in Indore on Monday, strengthening India’s strong historical bonds of friendship with the countries of the Caribbean region.  

At the 17th PBD convention held in Indore to honour persons of Indian origin for their outstanding achievements, Guyana President was the chief guest while Suriname President was the special guest of honour. In a statement, the Ministry of External (MEA), PM Modi and Guyana’s President held comprehensive discussions on a wide range of issues, including energy, infrastructure development, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, technology and innovation, and defence cooperation.

“Deepening ties with our CARICOM partner. PM Narendra Modi met President Mohamed Irfaan Ali of Guyana in Indore on PBD 2023 margins. Discussed furthering bilateral cooperation in diverse sectors, with a focus on energy, infrastructure, defence, healthcare, technology and innovation,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted.

According to the MEA statement, both leaders recalled the 180-year-old historical bonds of friendship between the people of India and Guyana and agreed to deepen them further.

President Irfaan Ali will hold bilateral discussions with President Droupadi Murmu, and attend the Valedictory Session and Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award Ceremony on Tuesday. On Wednesday, he will also participate in the Global Investors Summit 2023 in Indore.

Apart from Indore, President Ali will also visit Delhi, Kanpur, Bangalore and Mumbai.

In the meeting between PM Modi and Suriname President today, both leaders held discussions on cooperation in areas of mutual interest including hydrocarbons, defence, maritime security, digital initiatives and ICT, and capacity building.

“Wide-ranging discussions held between PM Narendra Modi and President Chandrikapersad Santokhi of Suriname in Indore on the sidelines of PBD 2023. Deliberated on ways to further boost our cooperation in hydrocarbons, maritime security, digital initiatives, ICT, capacity building and defence,” Bagchi tweeted.

In the press statement, the MEA said Suriname appreciated the restructuring by India of Suriname’s debt arising from Lines of Credit availed by Suriname.

President Santokhi will hold discussions with President Murmu and will attend Valedictory Session and Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award Ceremony on Wednesday. He will also attend the inaugural session of the Global Investors Summit in Indore. He will thereafter visit Ahmedabad and New Delhi.

Guyana, Suriname praise India

Guyana President Chandrikapersad Santokhi and his Suriname counterpart Irfaan Ali earlier praised India for reaching out to developing countries during the Covid-19 pandemic with vaccines and medical assistance.

Speaking at the PBD event in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, Guyana President Irfaan Ali said, “When the world couldn’t find the vaccine and you faced the challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic, you showed the world what real love and hope is when you shared vaccine with the rest of the world.” Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his ‘herculean effort’ in the pandemic fight, he said, “India used the fruits of its independence to assist other developing countries. PM Modi, we owe you a debt of gratitude. When the world locked its borders and globalization failed, you showed that globalization can still succeed and there’s still love when the hardest of times hit us.”

The President of Suriname, Chandrikapersad Santokhi, greeted PM Narendra Modi in Hindi in his address at the 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention.

He further underscored the need for setting up diaspora funds for diaspora projects and programmes.

Prime Minister Modi, President of Suriname Santokhi and Guyanese President Ali also launched a commemorative stamp at the 17th PBD, on Monday.

A commemorative postal stamp ‘Surakshit Jaayen, Prashikshit Jaayen’ was released highlighting the significance of a safe, legal, orderly, and skilled migration. (ANI)

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