India Is the New US in Merkel's Eyes

Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi

Turning a blind eye towards critics, PM Modi has set out on a 6-day trip to Europe, where he'll be visiting Russia, Germany, Spain and France.

Modi's visit to Russian Federation will be sandwiched by trips to Germany and Spain and a pit stop in France later.

In "today's global context", Modi said, the focus of his discussion in Spain will be on the worldwide developments.

This is the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Spain in almost 30 years since Rajiv Gandhi paid a visit in 1988.

"I thank the government and people of Spain for their remarkable hospitality during my visit, during which significant ground was covered", Prime Minister Modi tweeted.

He said Spain can offer its expertise to India's development priorities like railways, smart cities and infrastructure. And India will play a significant role in two major projects the United States has revived-its 2011 New Silk Route initiative connecting Afghanistan to neighbouring regions and the Indo-Pacific Economic Corridor linking South and Southeast Asia.

The nuclear deal, if signed, would be the centrepiece of the summit, and the two units of the plant, with capacity to produce 1,000 MW of electricity each, will significantly boost India's nuclear power generation.

Modi said India was committed to take its relations with Spain to "a new level". "Prime Minister then interacted with 14 CEO's of Spain, who are captains of globally leading Spanish companies in very diverse areas; they are from aviation like Airbus, to IT tunneling, infrastructure, organ transplant, medical". The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in cyber security.

Ahead of his arrival, Modi wrote an article in Russian newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazetta in which he said India and Russia are "natural partners" in fighting terrorism and asserted that ties between the two nations have "withstood the test of time".

India and Spain on Wednesday committed to cooperate in the fight against terrorism calling it the gravest threat to global peace and stability.

Though the two leaders have not met since the Goa BRICS summit last September, several high-level visits have preceded this summit to address the growing trust deficit.

From Spain, he will visit Russian Federation and conclude his six-day trip after meeting newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on June 3.

On Friday, PM Modi will be the guest of honor at the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, which is being attended by a host of political and business leaders from around the world.

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