Vice President embarks on 3-nation visit to Lithuania, Latvia & Estonia

Vice President of India M. Venkaiah Naidu has embarked on a 3-nation visit to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. He is accompanied by a high-level delegation. This visit will be Vice President’s 1st ever high level visit (from India) to 3 Baltic countries.

Key Highlights of Visit

Objective of Vice President’s visit to 3 Baltics countries is to advance India’s outreach to important countries in region. It takes place in context of increasing political engagement, as well as intensified trade and commercial ties.

The cutting edge technology and innovation ecosystems of Baltic countries complement India’s huge market and appetite for these technologies.

It will also provide an opportunity to brief Baltic countries and get their views on enhanced opportunities for cooperation, thus further strengthening India’s existing friendly ties. The visit is significant as Baltic countries and India have historical connect and common linguistic roots.

Lithuania: M V Naidu will be visiting Lithuania from 17-19 August, during which he will have a detailed bilateral meeting with President Gitanas Nauseda. He will also meet Viktoras Pranckietis, Speaker of Seimas (Lithuanian Parliament).

Latvia: The vice president will visit Latvia from August 19-20 where he will have bilateral meeting with President Eglis Levits. He will also meet Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins and Inese Libina-Egnere, the Acting Speaker of the Saeima (Latvian Parliament). He will also attend a business forum co-organised by Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and ASSOCHAM (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India).

Estonia: Vice president will visit Estonia from August 20-21. Here he will meet President Kersti Kaljulaid, Juri Ratas, Prime Minister of Estonia and Henn Polluaas, President of Riigikogu (Estonian Parliament). As a special privilege, Naidu will also address Estonian Head of Mission’s conference on India’s role in Indo-Pacific region and address an India-Estonia business forum led by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) from Indian side.

Month:  Categories: International

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India suspends Thar Link Express

India suspended weekly Jodhpur-Munabao Thar Link Express amid the ongoing tension with Pakistan over the Kashmir issue. This move comes days after India cancelled Samjhauta Express from its side after Pakistan had announced suspension of all train services to India.

About Thar Express

It is Indian portion of international passenger train operated weekly (every Saturday morning) by Indian Railway using its own coaches and locomotives, between Jodhpur and Munabao in India. Passengers from Munabao (Rajastan) after clearing customs are transported to across border to Zero Point station where Thar Express takes passengers to Karachi, Pakistan via Munabao (India)-Khokhrapar (Pakistan’s Sindh province) border crossing. It carries only passengers and not goods.

Background: The agreement to link two countries by rail service through Munabao-Khokhrapar link was signed in 2006 with aim to facilitate people-to-people contact. It was revived after gap 41 years after Munabao-Khokhrapar rail link was destroyed during 1965 war between two countries. This agreement was extended in 2018 for three years till January 31, 2021. According to estimates, over 4 lakh passengers from both countries have taken train in the past 13 years.

About Samjhauta Express

It is another passenger train running between India and Pakistan. It runs from Delhi to Attari on Indian side and from Lahore to Wagah on the Pakistan side. Its service was started in 1976 following Shimla Agreement.

Month:  Categories: International

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