Connectivity Current Affairs

9th India, Japan, US trilateral meeting held in New Delhi

The 9th India-Japan-US trilateral meeting was held in New Delhi and was represented by senior diplomats by three countries. It held consultations on regional and global issues of mutual interest and focussed on connectivity, counter-terrorism and other regional and global issues of common concern.

Key Facts

The trilateral countries agreed to continue to collaborate to promote increased connectivity in Indo-Pacific. They also agreed to remain engaged and strengthen cooperation in support for free, open, prosperous, peaceful and inclusive Indo-Pacific region through partnership with countries in region.

They also explored practical steps to enhance cooperation in areas of connectivity and infrastructure development, counter-terrorism, counter-proliferation, maritime security, maritime domain awareness and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA-DR). The trilateral emphasised on importance of keeping the sea lanes open, over India’s concern about maintaining freedom of navigation in South China Sea and western Pacific Ocean.

Background

The India-Japan-US trilateral was launched in December 2011 when Hillary Clinton was US Secretary of State. For first several rounds, the trilateral was held at director or assistant secretary level. It was elevated to ministerial level in 2015. The inaugural ministerial trilateral was held in September 2015 in New York on sidelines of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Session. It was hosted by then US Secretary of State John Kerry. It was also represented by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida. The last ministerial dialogue was also held in New York, US in September 2017.

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India, Iran ink 9 agreements

India and Iran have signed nine agreements, including one on connectivity related to strategic Chabahar port and on double taxation avoidance.  These agreements were signed after bilateral talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. The bilateral talks focused to boost cooperation in key areas of security, trade and energy. This was Hassan Rouhani’s first official state visit to India after he was elected Iran’s President in 2013. He had started his three-day visit from Hyderabad as the city has a long history of cultural and religious ties with Iran.

Signed Agreements are

Agreement for Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes on Income. It will avoid burden of double taxation between two countries in order to promote flow of investment and services.

MoU on Exemption from Visa requirement for holders of Diplomatic Passports. It will waive requirement of visa for travel of diplomatic passport holders in each country.

Exchange of Instrument of Ratification of Extradition Treaty. It brings into effect the Extradition Treaty signed between India and Iran in 2008.

Lease Contract for Shahid Beheshti Port- Phase 1 of Chabahar during Interim Period. It was signed between Port and Maritime Organization (PMO), Iran and India Ports Global Limited (IPGL).  Leasing is for 18 months to take over operation of existing port facilities.

MoU on Cooperation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine. It seeks to develop and strengthen cooperation in traditional systems of medicine including regulation of teaching, practice, drugs and drugless therapies.

MoU on establishment of an Expert Group on Trade Remedy Measures to promote cooperation in areas of mutual interest. It aims to establish a framework of cooperation in area of Trade Remedial Measures viz. anti-dumping and counterveiling duty.

MoU on Cooperation in the field of Agriculture and Allied Sectors. It includes joint activities, programmes, exchange of information and personnel, cooperation in field of agricultural crops, agricultural extension, horticulture, machinery, postharvest technology, plant quarantine measures, credit and cooperation, soil conservation, seed technology, livestock improvement, dairy development.

MoU on Cooperation in field of Health and Medicine. It seeks to establish comprehensive inter-ministerial and inter-institutional cooperation between two sides.

MoU on Postal Cooperation. It includes exchange of experience, knowledge and technology in e-commerce and logistics services; cooperation on philately, feasibility studies on using air and surface transit capacities of both countries.

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