St Petersburg: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday met UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres , on the sidelines of a multilateral business and economic at the St. Petersburg and stressed on multilateralism to address global challenges such as terrorism.
“Had a very good meeting with @UN Secretary-General, Mr. @antonioguterres,” Modi said in a tweet after the meeting.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 2, 2017
While intervening during the interactive session at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Modi raised concerns against the states, who supply arms and financial assistance to the terrorists and called on for a joint fight against the menace. He also emphasized that the terrorists shouldn’t be differentiated as “good and bad” and that India has been a victim of the cross border terrorism for forty years.
The meeting attaches much significance as it comes in the wake of a jolt to the global fight against climate change, with US President Donald Trump announcing to withdraw America from the Paris Climate Accord. A former Prime Minister of Portugal, Guterres assumed office at the UN headquarters at the beginning of this year.
Prior to his meeting with Guterres, Modi met Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern.
Earlier on Friday, Modi, as Prime Minister, attended for the first time the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, an annual business and economic event, hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Earlier in 2001, Modi, as Chief Minister of Gujarat, attended the SPIEF, being a part of the delegation of then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Prime Minister Modi also met and interacted with 16 Governors of various provinces of Russia. He reiterated his vision that bond between regions and provinces of two countries are a vital part of nurturing the bilateral relationship.
During the course of the day, Chairman of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) Tigran Sargasyan called on Modi in view of India’s decision to start discussions with EAEU to have a free trade agreement.
Speaking at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Prime Minister Modi said, “The eyes of the world are on Asia and there is renewed interest in India. In the last three years there have been substantial reforms guided by the principle of ‘Minimum Government, Maximum Governance. India is one of the fastest growing economies and is undertaking reforms at a rapid pace.”
He said India has taken various reformist measures to ward off red-tapism and has brought in transparency into the system. “Minimum government, maximum governance and red carpet instead of red tape have been the basis of governance reforms in India. Political will and clear vision are necessary for reforms. Bureaucracy too has to be vibrant and in tune with leadership,” PM Modi said.
Underlining the time-tested strategic dimension of the India Russia relationship, the Prime Minister mentioned the forthcoming first Tri-services exercise – INDRA 2017, between the two countries. Defence production Joint Ventures for the production of Kamov 226 helicopters and frigates were also mentioned.
The Indian Prime Minister arrived at St. Petersburg on Wednesday on the third leg of his six-day, four-nation tour of Europe. Modi will arrive in France on Saturday to meet French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.Prior to Russia, he visited Germany and Spain.