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India, Tajikistan ink four agreements

India and Tajikistan have signed four agreements in areas including on double taxation avoidance, money laundering and counter-terrorism.

These agreements were signed following delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon in New Delhi. 

Signed agreements are
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Broadcasting in Exchange of Audio Visual Programs
  • MoU for cooperation in the exchange of financial intelligence related to money laundering, related crimes and financing of terrorism.
  • Protocol amending the Agreement for the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.
  • Announcement of initiation of Bilateral investment treaty between both countries.
Other highlights of bilateral delegation level talks
  • Terrorism: Both countries agreed to deepen their engagement to deal with the threat of terrorism and radicalism in the neighbourhood especially in Afghanistan. Called to end sponsorship, support and provision of safe havens and sanctuaries to terrorists.
  • CCIT: Both countries affirmed to resolve to work for early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism by the UN General Assembly.
  • Security and Afghanistan: They called for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process and national reconciliation for Afghan peace and prosperity.
  • Agreed to intensify defence and counter-terror cooperation to stabilise Afghanistan
  • UNSC: Tajikistan support India’s bid for permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council.
  • Energy business: Tajikistan invited India to invest in four free economic zones that have come up in the country and thanked it for the modernisation of the Varzob-1 Hydropower Station. It also sought investment in the upcoming small and medium hydroelectricity projects.
  • Connectivity: Need for exploring the possibility of increasing flight operations between the two countries. Appreciated signing of the trilateral Chahbahar port agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan as the project will provide connectivity to Tajikistan.
  • People to people contact: Agreed to explore ways for easier business, medical and tourist and other visas to promote people to people exchanges.

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India-US ink six agreements

India and the United States (US) have signed six agreements to enhance bilateral cooperation in various fields.

These agreements were signed after wide range of bilateral talks between Prime Minster Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama in Washington.

The agreements were signed in Terrorist Screening InformationClean Energy and Climate Change, cooperation on Energy Security among others.

Singed Agreements are

  • Arrangement for the exchange of Terrorist Screening Information: Under it both countries will provide each other access to terrorism screening information.
  • MoU on Energy Security, Clean Energy and Climate Change: It seeks to enhance cooperation between both countries on energy security, climate change and clean energy by increasing bilateral engagement. It further seeks to enhance joint initiatives for promoting sustainable growth.
  • MoU on Wildlife Conservation and Combating Wildlife Trafficking: It seeks to enhance cooperation in areas such as Wildlife Forensics and Conservation Genetics, Conservation Awareness, Natural World Heritage Conservation and Nature Interpretation for combating wildlife trafficking, wildlife conservation and management.
  • MoU for the Global Entry Programme: It seeks to grant expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk Indian travelers upon arrival in the United States.
  • Technical Arrangement concerning Unclassified Maritime Information Sharing: It seeks to allow sharing of unclassified information on White Shipping between both countries.
  • MoU for Cooperation in Gas Hydrates: It aims to increase the understanding of the geologic distribution, occurrence and production of natural gas hydrates along the continental margin of US and India.

Besides singing these six agreements both countries also finalized two documents. They are

  • Information Exchange Annex (IEA) concerning Aircraft Carrier Technologies: It aims to enhance information and data sharing specific to aircraft carriers technology.
  • Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement: It aims at facilitating mutual logistic support for authorized joint exercises, joint training, port visits and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA-DR).

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Outcomes of 13th India-EU Summit

The 13th edition of India-European Union Summit was held on in Brussels, capital of Belgium.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi represented Indian side in the summit. While the European Union (EU) was represented by President of the European Council, Donald Tusk and President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.

The 13th summit laid out concrete priority actions for the strategic bilateral partnership in areas like trade and investment, climate, energy, water and migration in the next five years.

Key Outcomes

  • EU-India Agenda for Action 2020: Both sides endorsed the agenda to concrete the road-map for the EU-India Strategic Partnership for the next five years.
  • EU-India Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA): Both sides agreed to further the negotiations on early conclusion of the BTIA.
  • Terrorism: Both sides adopted a Joint Declaration on Counter-terrorism to step up cooperation to counter radicalisation and violent extremism.
  • It will also allow jointly countering the flow of sources of terrorist financing, Foreign Terrorist Fighters and arms supply.
  • Loan assistance to Lucknow Metro: The European Investment Bank (EIB) agreed to lend loan of 450 million Euros for the construction of the first metro line in Lucknow.
  • G20 Skills Strategy: Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to implement the G20 Skills Strategy and also expressed their intention to organise a high level skills seminar.
  • India-EU Water Partnership: The Joint Declaration was adopted in this regard to enhance cooperation on environment issues, including on the ‘Clean Ganga’ and ‘Clean India’ flagship programmes.
  • India-EU Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement: Both sides agreed to extend this agreement until 2020 to boost innovation and research in India and Europe.
  • Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility: Both sides agreed to establish this agenda in order to enhance involvement of citizens’ in the strategic partnership.
  • Arbitration procedure on the Italian Marines: Both sides expressed their confidence in solving the marine case currently underway in the framework of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Note: The EU-India strategic partnership was launched in 2004. The last summit i.e. 12th edition was held in 2012 in New Delhi.

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