External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar has met Italian President Sergio Mattarella and other senior leaders in Rome and discussed ways to further develop the bilateral strategic partnership in areas like defence, cyber security and counter-terrorism.
Jaishankar, who was in Rome at the invitation of his Italian counterpart Antonio Tajani, concluded his four-day visit to Portugal and Italy on Friday.
In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs said that Jaishankar paid an official visit to Italy from November 2-3 at the invitation of the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Italy.
“During the visit, Jaishankar called on President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella and held delegation level talks with his Italian counterpart Antonio Tajani,” the MEA said.
It said that the EAM also met Minister of Defence, Guido Crosetto and Minister of Enterprises and Made in Italy, Adolfo Urso.
“He addressed the Joint Committees of External and Defence Affairs, and EU Affairs in the Italian Senate, and also interacted with prominent think-tanks and thought leaders,” the MEA said.
“President Mattarella during his meeting with Jaishankar reiterated his strong support to advancing bilateral ties as well as deepening of India-Italy and India-EU linkages,” the MEA said.
While EAM’s meeting with Defence Minister, Crosetto focused on deepening strategic cooperation including industrial collaboration in defence manufacturing (following the recently signed MoU on Defence Cooperation), and in areas of counter terrorism, cyber security and maritime domain, with Minister Urso, he discussed ways to promote bilateral trade and investment, with focus on areas of agro-tech, engineering, digital infrastructure, innovation and space, it said.
The MEA said that Jaishankar and FM Tajani reviewed the entire gamut of India-Italy Strategic Partnership and they expressed happiness at steady growth in diverse areas of our bilateral cooperation including regular high level exchanges and interaction, economic collaboration, defence and security, S&T, culture and people to people connect. Both sides agreed that there is huge potential for further increasing collaboration in areas of Renewable Energy, IT & Startups, digital infrastructure, innovation, Artificial Intelligence, cyber and space.
“The economic partnership between our two countries that are among the top 10 economies is important for diversification of the global supply chain, given their respective strengths,” it said.
According to the MEA, the Ministers deliberated upon the important regional and international developments, India’s successful G20 Presidency in Delhi, Italy’s upcoming G7 Presidency, India-EU relations, Mediterranean and the Indo-Pacific, the conflict in Ukraine, and the situation in West Asia.
“EAM appreciated Italy for joining the key India-led global initiatives such as ISA, CDRI, IPOI, Global Bio-Fuels Alliance and India Middle East Europe Economic Corridor (IMEEC), reflecting growing convergence of our views on important global issues. Both sides hoped for the early conclusion of the India-EU Free Trade Agreement negotiations,” it said.
The MEA said that FM Tajani also congratulated India for the successful lunar landing of “Chandrayaan – 3” and evinced interest for deeper cooperation between ISRO and Italian space agency, ASI.
Meanwhile, Jaishankar and FM Tajani inked two significant Agreements on Migration and Mobility Partnership, and Executive Programme on Cultural Cooperation for the period 2023-27.
“These will provide a major boost to mobility of youth and skilled workers in a safe and legal manner, thereby promoting people to people ties, trade and tourism,” it said.
It further said that Jaishankar’s visit to Italy further consolidated the long-standing historical ties between the two countries, and pushed bilateral cooperation in diverse areas of our Strategic Partnership including on contemporary global issues and challenges.