India, Spain agree to add new depth and content to ties

NEW DELHI, 15 Jun: Spain on Wednesday evinced interest in participating in India’s defence manufacturing sector even as the two countries expressed concern over the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and called for an immediate cessation of hostilities.
In their wide-ranging talks, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his visiting Spanish counterpart Jose Manuel Albares Bueno reiterated their commitment to closely work in countering common challenges of terrorism, violent extremism and cyber crime.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Jaishankar and Albares committed to “add new depth and content to the relationship” and emphasised on the need to retain strategic focus on the Indo-Pacific and to promote collaborative efforts among like-minded nations. Albares is on a day-long visit to India.
The MEA said there were detailed discussions focused on enhancing cooperation in the key priority areas of trade and investment, defence and security, climate change, green energy and science and technology.
“The two leaders welcomed 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,” the MEA said in a statement.
It said India welcomed Spain’s interest in participating in its national defence manufacturing programme through ‘Make in India’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiatives.
In September last year, India sealed a nearly Rs 21,000 crore deal with Airbus Defence and Space to procure 56 C-295 transport aircraft to replace the ageing Avro-748 planes of the IAF under a project that entails manufacturing of military aircraft in India for the first time by a private company.
“Warm and productive discussions with Foreign Minister @jmalbares of Spain. Discussed our growing engagements in political,defense, economic and cultural domains. Envisage enhanced collaboration to support self reliance and resilient supply chains,” Jaishankar tweeted.
On his part, Albares described India as a global power and an important partner of Spain.
In a tweet in Spanish, he said the meeting with Jaishankar was excellent and that both sides will continue to work to deepen the bilateral relations and signed a declaration for cultural and academic cooperation. (PTI)
The MEA said Jaishankar and Albares welcomed the growing bilateral trade and investment linkages and agreed to expand them in new areas of common interest.
“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, deep sea exploration where the two countries can collaborate further,” it said.
It said the two 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.
On Ukraine, the two ministers expressed their concern on the ongoing humanitarian crisis and called for an immediate cessation of hostilities.
On 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.
The MEA said the two sides agreed to explore collaboration in development partnership and economic activities in the Latin America and the Caribbean region. (PTI)