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In Austria, Modi reaffirms: ‘This is not time for war’

In Austria, Modi reaffirms: ‘This is not time for war’

Vienna/ New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrapped up a landmark two-day visit to Russia and Austria on Wednesday. The visit was marked by high-level discussions on global conflicts and strengthening bilateral relations between the two nations.

In talks with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, Modi reiterated India’s stance on ongoing global disputes. “I have said before that this is not a time for war. Problems cannot be solved on the battlefield,” Modi stated during a joint press conference. The leaders discussed the conflicts in Ukraine and West Asia, emphasising the need for dialogue and diplomacy.

“We are both ready to provide every possible cooperation to achieve this,” he said, recalling that the historic Vienna Congress was hosted in the hall where they are standing and that the conference provided direction for peace and stability in Europe.

Modi said he was happy that he got the opportunity to visit Austria at the very beginning of his third term. “This visit of mine is both historic and special. After 41 years, an Indian Prime Minister has visited Austria. It is also a pleasant coincidence that this visit is taking place as our bilateral relations complete 75 years,” Modi said.

Chancellor Nehammer acknowledged India’s significant role in global affairs, particularly in the Russia-Ukraine peace process. “For me as the Federal Chancellor of Austria, it is particularly important to get to know India’s assessment and to understand it,” Nehammer said.

The visit also focused on bolstering bilateral cooperation. Modi and Nehammer identified new opportunities for collaboration, preparing a blueprint for the coming decade.

“We will work to combine our strengths in areas such as infrastructure development, innovation, renewable energy, hydrogen, water and waste management, artificial intelligence, and quantum technology,” Modi announced.

On the economic front, Modi met with business leaders from both countries, inviting Austrian companies to invest in India. An agreement on mobility and migration partnership was also reached to facilitate the movement of skilled workforce between the two nations.

Climate change featured prominently in the discussions. Modi invited Austria to join initiatives like the International Solar Alliance and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure. Both leaders agreed on the urgent need to address climate challenges.

In a separate meeting with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, Modi discussed environmental sustainability and global warming.

President Van der Bellen emphasised India’s crucial role in combating climate change, stating: “We need India as a partner in a structurally sustainable transformation towards climate neutrality.”

The visit, coinciding with the 75th anniversary of India-Austria diplomatic relations, sets the stage for enhanced cooperation between the two countries. Both sides also agreed on the need for reforms in the United Nations and other international institutions to make them more effective and contemporary.

As Modi concluded his visit, he expressed satisfaction with the outcomes, describing the discussions as “very fruitful” and the visit as both “historic and special.” with agency inputs

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