Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday sought Ireland’s support for reforms of the UN Security Council within a fixed time frame and India’s permanent membership as he held talks with Ireland’s Prime Minister Enda Kenny.
Modi, who arrived here earlier in the day on a day-long visit, said he exchanged views on a broad range of international challenges, including terrorism, radicalisation and on the situation in Europe and Asia during his talks with Kenny.
Modi, who is the first Indian prime minister to visit Ireland in 59 years, said: “Ireland’s support was crucial for India-specific exemption from the Nuclear Suppliers Group in 2008. With rapid growth in India’s enormous energy demand, it has opened a big option to pursue a sustainable development path.”
“I have now sought Ireland’s support for India’s membership of the NSG and other international export control regimes. India’s membership will deepen our bilateral cooperation and strengthen international non-proliferation efforts,” he said.
Both countries have been partners in peacekeeping operations. “I thank Ireland for its leadership on Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.
Modi said that 26,000 Indians comprise a vibrant part of the Irish community.
“And, the victims of the bombing of the Air India Kanishka aircraft find a resting place here. In the 30th anniversary year of that tragedy, we thank you once again for the memorial that honours them,” Modi said.
“In the pain of their unfading memory, we are also reminded of all that binds us today — our values and our aspirations and the challenges that we all face today.”
He said India and Ireland must seek closer partnership and cooperation.
“India and Ireland are among the fastest growing economies of Asia and Europe. We are pleased that our bilateral trade and investment ties are growing, despite global and regional uncertainties. Our economic partnership can have a strong technology focus – information technology, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, agricultural and clean energy,” he said.
On the stalled talks on the India-EU FTA, he said: “Greater sensitivity of the European Union to India’s commercial interests and challenges will help us resume discussions on India-EU Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement.”
“India and Ireland are ideally placed to form productive partnerships to take advantage of the opportunities in the digital age. I hope that our Joint Working Group on Information Technology will meet soon to chart out the roadmap for collaboration,” Modi said.