NSG Current Affairs

India, Switzerland ink two MoUs in the field of Railways

India and Switzerland have signed two Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) for exchanging technical cooperation in the field of Railways.

They were signed after delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting President of Swiss Confederation Doris Leuthard in New Delhi. They also issued Joint press statement.

Signed Pacts

  • MoU between Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL) and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich.
  • MoU between Ministry of Railways and Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications of the Swiss Federation on Technical Cooperation in Rail Sector.

Key Takeaways of Joint press statement

FDI is a big part of the Indo-Swiss cooperation. Both countries agreed to enhance the business to business cooperation. Both countries are working on new bilateral investment treaty. India thanked Switzerland for supporting for its bid for MTCR and Nuclear Suppliers Group membership.

Switzerland agreed that reforms taken by India will serve good base for expanding cooperation in several areas. Switzerland has accepted automatic exchange of information for transparency in financial transactions with India to effectively combat black money and tax evasion and its parliament is going to pass legislation supporting it by year end. India committed to clean energy and green future and termed climate change as a global challenge.

India-Switzerland

India and Switzerland have long standing relationship and enjoy robust economic ties. Switzerland is being seventh largest trading partner and eleventh largest foreign investor for India. Both countries share common views on many major global issues.

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India-China first Strategic Dialogue held in Beijing

The first Strategic Dialogue between India and China was held in Beijing, capital of China to shore up bilateral ties.

The meeting was co-chaired by India’s Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and China’s Executive Vice Foreign minister Zhang Yesui.

Key Facts
  • The Strategic Dialogue mechanism between both countries was agreed to during Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to India in August 2016.
  • In the first meeting, both countries discussed all issues of mutual interest in bilateral, regional and international domain. They also discussed issues of mutual concern and interest including friction points.
  • The dialogue strived to take a holistic view of the relations between the two countries. It also tried to an extent to accommodate each other’s concerns and interests.
  • On the issue of 1267 Committee’s sanctions on Masood Azhar: India once again explained the rationale for its application to committee and pointed out that the issue was also pursued by other countries too.
  • India held that Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) itself is proscribed as terrorist organisation under 1267. So it is strong proof for declaring Azhar, founder of JeM a global terrorist.
  • On the NSG issue: China underlined that they were open to India’s application for membership. But it has own view of the procedures and processes which are different from most of the group’s members.
Background

In recent times, India-China ties have witnessed strain following China’s rigid stand on issues crucial to India such as membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and designation of JeM (Jaish-e-Mohammed) chief and Pathankot attack mastermind Masood Azhar as global terrorist by the UN under 1267 Sanctions list. In 2016, China had scuttled India’s membership bid at the meeting of NSG and also opposed banning of Azhar by the UN, apparently at the behest of Pakistan.

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