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1. Official visit of Foreign Minister of Republic of Iraq to India (24-28 July 2017), New Delhi, 21 July 2017
Foreign Minister of the Republic of Iraq, Dr. Ibrahim al-Jaafari will pay his first official visit to India from 24-28 July 2017 at the invitation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. He will be accompanied by a senior-level official delegation.
India and Iraq have historically enjoyed close and friendly political, economic and cultural ties. Our robust bilateral trade amounted to nearly US$ 13 billion in 2016-17. Iraq contributes significantly to India's energy security and is the second-largest supplier of crude oil to us (over 37 MMT during 2016-17). Thousands of Indians visit Iraq annually for pilgrimage to the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala.
During the upcoming visit, the two sides will discuss the entire gamut of bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest. The visit is expected to add further impetus to our mutually beneficial bilateral engagement. Source: Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi
2. Foreign Minister of Iraq visited India (24-26 July 2017), 27 July 2017
During his first official visit to India, Foreign Minister of Iraq, Dr. Ibrahim al-Jaafari met with External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi on 24 July 2017. During that day, the Iraqi Foreign Minister called on Hon’ble Vice-President and met with Minister of State (IC) for Petroleum & Natural Gas. He also visited Mumbai.
The two Foreign Ministers discussed matters of mutual interest pertaining to bilateral, regional and international affairs. The talks were held in constructive and friendly spirit.
EAM congratulated the Iraqi Foreign Minister over the recent liberation of the strategic city of Mosul on 9 July by the Iraqi forces from the control of the terrorist organization ISIS. She expressed India’s support for the people and the Government of Iraq in their on-going war against terrorism and their efforts to uphold their country’s sovereignty and preserve its territorial integrity. She assured the visiting dignitary that India had always been, and remained strongly committed to a stable, peaceful, united and democratic Iraq. The Iraqi Foreign Minister thanked EAM for her letter of congratulations and for the visit of MOS Gen (Dr.) V.K. Singh (Retd.) as the first senior foreign dignitary to visit Iraq after the liberation of Mosul.
In the wake of Mosul’s liberation from ISIS by the Iraqi Forces, EAM reiterated Indian Government’s request for tracing the 39 Indians who were abducted in Mosul in June 2014 and for Iraq’s continued assistance in this regard. The Iraqi Foreign Minister assured cooperation in all earnestness from the Iraqi side and informed EAM of the efforts being undertaken. EAM requested Iraqi Foreign Minister to facilitate the visit of MOS Gen (Dr.) V.K. Singh (Retd.) to Badush, to which Dr. Ibrahim al-Jaafari readily agreed.
EAM thanked Iraq for contributing significantly to India's energy security, being the second-largest supplier of crude oil to us. The visiting Minister appreciated India’s steadfast support to Iraq during its difficult times, including through capacity-building under the ITEC programme. He highlighted that India continued to welcome Iraqi nationals, especially for higher studies and medical treatment. Iraqi Foreign Minister invited Indian companies to participate in the reconstruction and rebuilding of Iraq, which EAM welcomed. Source: Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi
3. English Translation of statement by External Affairs Minister in Lok Sabha on 39 Indian nationals missing in Iraq (26 July 2017), New Delhi, 27 July 2017
External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj: Many many thanks Madam Speaker. First I express my heartfelt gratitude towards Kharage Ji that he understood the gravity of the subject and made arrangements so that house listens to me. Many many thanks Kharage Ji. While rest of the house was ready to listen to me, they were sitting quietly, but those who were in the well, their leader has given me this opportunity so that I can say what I have to say and hence I expressed special thanks to him.
Madam Speaker, this issue of 39 Indian hostages in Iraq has once again become a hot topic in the last 4-5 days. Since parliament session is in progress it is obligatory on my part as decorum to parliamentary behaviour that I should not speak outside and I should come to the house and speak on this subject. I have been trying for this from last 3 days, two days back I had written to you that I want to come and answer it, you said that I can come at 5 O’clock but the house got over before that. Yesterday, I tried again, today I tried yet again to get an opportunity at 12 O’clock, but anyways I got this opportunity.
Madam Speaker, I would like to start with a little background that this incident is of June 15, 2014. Our government was formed on 26th May i.e. just 20 days after the formation of our government, this incident happened. And the incident came to knowledge such that a person named Harjit Masih came from there and said that 40 people were taken hostage by ISIS people, 39 people were killed in front of me and I alone escaped from there. There are many contradictions in the story of Harjit but right now I do not want to go there.
After hearing this story, because I was the first who spoke to Masih, I do not want to go into all those details, I told my embassy that he is saying that while going from Mosul to Erbil they were killed in a forest. Please go and scan every nook and corner of Mosul, even scan 100 kilometres around Mosul, somewhere 39 bodies must be found, and if the bodies are also taken care of then at least there will be blood stains, after all 39 people have been shot, so there should be a pool of blood, so at least that should be found.
Third thing that I said, since ISIS has a habit that when they kill many people of one country then they publish a list for the same, so please find out if such a list has been published? Fourth, I said they are so heartless that they release photos or videos of such killings, so find out if there is any such thing.
Madam Speaker, neither did we find dead bodies, nor were we able to find blood spots or any list or any videos of the same. After that we thought that we must at least search for them so we started searching for them. This happened on 15th June 2014 and after that the first session of parliament came in November. I came to this house on 24th November because a day before that there were interviews of two Bangladeshi people named Shafi and Hassan who were also quoting Harjeet and saying that these people have been killed.
Jyotiraditya Scindia Ji raised this topic here. In fact, he did not give any notice, I had asked myself that I wanted to give an explanation, but when he gave the notice, I said, even though the notice has not been given but let him speak. He presented his point in great detail and after that I also participated in that discussion. Now I want to tell you here that whatever I did, I did it by not only taking the House in faith, but with the permission of this House, and it is a coincidence that the Presidency was yours only.
And what I had said, I have brought the entire working of the Lok Sabha of 24 November 2014, but I want to read only the related portions. I am saying this to the House, "You tell me that a person is saying that they have been killed while our 6 sources are saying they have not been killed, they are alive, what should I do? By accepting that they have been killed, should I keep my hands on my arms and stop searching for them?
This is an easy choice, but the other option is that our 6 sources which are saying that they have not been killed, I must move ahead by believing in them and keep on searching for these people. I have said this again and again to the House that I do not have any direct contact with them. I do not have any concrete proof of them being alive, but I also do not have any concrete evidence of them having been killed. So it is not only wise but also obligation of responsibility that I should choose second option and keep on searching them.
But I did not stop here, I had said, "I am assuring you, I am telling you that the day I got any concrete evidence of what Harjit has said, I would come and say that they have been killed.” After that, I'm speaking here, "Madam Speaker, with your permission I would like to seek permission from this house" I had used the word 'permission', "that if they think that my path is right and I should not stop my efforts by trusting Harjeet’s statement, then I will definitely want that this House should help me so that I can move ahead in my efforts."
Today, Jyotiraditya Ji may or may not remember, he met me outside in the corridor after I had spoken and he said that I congratulate you for giving such a responsible statement.
I was just listening here now, in the well, when I had said that I am going to speak, Kharge Ji did not have the correct information that I had spoken in the Rajya Sabha and there is some Privilege Motion, I have not yet spoken in the Rajya Sabha. I am scheduled to speak in the Rajya Sabha tomorrow, then I will speak there. But here one person was saying repeatedly, she has been misleading from last three years, what will she say now?
I want to say just this, what have I been misleading, that I have not declared them dead? It is very good, but it is not that I'm misleading, but I am saying that the thing which is said repeatedly that why don’t I declare them dead, why don’t I believe in Harjeet's statement? Madam Speaker I would stand here today and say that it is a sin to declare someone dead without any concrete evidence and I will never commit this sin.
After getting the permission that I had sought from this House, I scaled up the search operation very much. I spoke to the foreign ministers of all the six Gulf countries and today I want to share with the House that I learned from somewhere that maybe Turkish can help in this matter. Without any bilateral meeting I reached Turkey at 12 O'clock at night, spoke to the foreign minister at 9:00 in the morning and returned at 10:00 a.m.
And I have spoken to all the countries who could help in the search, Prime Minister also spoke with them. And today I can say here that when I talk about the sources, they are not just people walking on the road who say that they have seen them, the President of a country told me, the foreign minister of another country told me.
So we were moving ahead in this because we believed that it is our responsibility, if we get some information with concrete proof that they are dead or if we get the information with concrete proof that they are alive, I’ll tell them. And here I want to say one more thing, I have met their families 12 times. It is true that Bhagwant Maan Ji himself brought them 3 times, but I have met them 12 times and on all those 12 occasions, I have always used this caution that whatever information I had with me, after sharing, I have always said three sentences. First, I don’t have any proof of what I am telling you, second, this information has been received from other resources and third, I don’t have any direct contact with them. Each and every time on those 12 occasions I have finished by saying these three sentences.
Madam Speaker, since my Minister of State had been an army chief, when we were discussing this he told me that war also has its traditions. When a war is over then people are divided into four segments. First, POW meaning prisoners of war, who are in other nation’s captivity. Second, Missing, those who are not traceable, third, Killed, those who have been killed and fourth, believed to be killed.
I am telling you that not only for those who are "missing” but who are "believed to be killed” also, for them also it is the responsibility of governments not to close their files till the time a concrete evidence is found regarding their death. And I will surprise you by telling you that till today they are searching for people who were in the "Believed to be killed” category in the Vietnam war. American people who were in the "Believed to be killed” category of the Second World War, they come here to search for such people. And if, according to you, I take out these people from the ‘missing’ category and bring them to the ‘believed to be killed’ category, even then this file will not be closed till the time there is a concrete evidence confirming their death.
That is why I said that this is a sin, someone said today that if today I say that they are dead and tomorrow if anyone from them comes back then what? Maybe his world would have changed during that time, who will be the culprit then? I do not want to take this crime on me, so I also want to say that those who think and they are convinced that these missing people have been killed and who are also convinced that I am lying, or hiding the truth, they are free to go and tell the family members of missing people that these people have been killed, but if any missing person comes back, then it will be their responsibility who had told them this thing.
I will say one more thing, that if any one of those families do not trust me anymore and they feel that I am not telling the truth, and their child has been killed, then they are also free to perform Ardasa. But if any missing person comes back then it will be their responsibility.
Nowadays a picture is being shown that this was the jail which is now destroyed, Sushma had said that they were in that jail. I never said that they were in the Jail, this is our problem that we selectively pick up things. Madam Speaker, people ask what the government is doing. Iraqi Prime Minister announced on 9th of the month that Mosul has become free, slowly it has come out of the clutches, on the evening of 10th, my minister of state was on a plane to Mosul. Their Prime Minister announces it on the 9th, before that even their Prime Minister could not reach there, the conditions there were such that their Prime Minister also could not reach Mosul. The day it was announced, MoS was in Indore for some program, which you may also know, I called him there and asked whether he listened to that announcement, he said yes. I said come back, you have to leave at night. He reached Delhi on the morning of 10th and was on-board evening plane to Iraq and he stayed there for 4 days.
Today they talk about that picture. General V K Singh told me after he returned. As soon as I got the information that today General V K Singh is coming back, next day I called the families and then in front of all the families, first I myself told them what I was informed and then I asked General to tell them himself. What did he say, and he had spoken to a very senior officer in Baghdad because he could not find anything in Erbil so he said that he is going to Baghdad.
What did that source say, he had said that we have news from our intelligence sources that they were caught at Mosul Airfield. After that they were kept for a few days in jail, then they were put in hospital construction work. After that, they were put in farming, but during early 2016 they were sent to Badush Jail. After that, till today, we don’t have any contact with them.
Beginning of 2016, which means it has been around one and a half years. What happened in those one and a half years, the source said that there is no contact. They were in Badush jail in the beginning of 2016, after that there has been no contact. This very same thing, first I told the families, without using any comma or full stop and then I asked General Ji to tell them directly and General Singh also gave the very same information to them.
So Sushma never said that they are in Badush jail today and this is what I want to say that this picture only tell that much that the jail is destroyed, but this picture does not answers our questions. Our questions are, at the time when this prison collapsed, were Indian citizens present in it? If they were present then how many, and who were present? Second, before the demolition of prison, were the prisoners shifted elsewhere or were they all killed? And if all of them there were killed, because there could be many thousand people as this was such a big prison, then what happened to dead bodies of all of them? Are these dead bodies still available today and are they in such a condition that they can be identified using DNA test, these questions are all still unanswered.
Just saying that Sushma had said that they are in jail and see that jail has collapsed. I wanted to clarify this whole confusion that has been spread from the last four-five days.
Secondly, when the Iraqi Foreign Minister came here, I had sought permission to speak at 5 o'clock because we had our meeting between 12 and 3 o'clock, both of our state ministers were with him only. He said exactly the same thing that we neither have any concrete proof that they are alive nor any concrete evidence that they have been killed, and the officer which your Minister of State is talking about is also not certain now, because after 2016 he said that he has no contact with them. He does not has any information after 2016, so he is not certain today whether they are alive or dead, but we will be searching them completely.
He said this outside also, We do not know whether they are alive or dead, but the newspaper headlines comes, "FM Iraq says they are not alive.” He never said they are not alive, he said, whether they are alive or dead, we don’t know.
And I tell you that we were talking about this so compassionately that he said that the compassion that I am seeing and the passion with which you are talking about it, we have a saying in Iraq, wait is worse than death, but what can we do Excellency, in this situation only wait is required and we cannot do anything else.
After that I told him, Excellency I want to make a request, so he said, what? I said, now whatever information you give me please give it along with the evidence. I will not accept information without any evidence. I have consoled these families 12 times by information without any evidence but now I cannot console them without any evidence. And I said the biggest concrete evidence that could be, I only suggested them, if you can contact warden of this prison then please do it. They have a list of prisoners, see if there are names of any Indians in that list, and if there are names, who are they? This will be a very concrete evidence.
Then I said that if the list was destroyed and warden has survived, it was heard that prison warden had escaped, I don’t really know about that, so second thing that I said was to at least check with the warden if according to his memory whether people of Indian nationality were there, and if yes how many were they?
I said this would be the easiest and the most convincing proof of it. He said that the burden on his mind is that these Indians had come to rebuild Iraq, they were construction workers, but they got trapped there, so it is their responsibility to find them. So whatever you have said we will keep that in front of ourselves, and other than that we will do as much as we can, but I said that please give me proof.
Till now I have been asking evidence but I did not get any evidence, so I kept telling the families that this information has been received from other sources, we do not have any direct contact but now give me proof.
If they are alive then tell me where are they, how many of them are there and who are they? And as a proof, if they can write their name in Hindi or Gurmukhi, or the name of their village, then it will be an even more convincing proof, or if we find an image, whatever you provide, it should be such that I can say yes, this is a concrete evidence.
Without them, I will not call those families nor will I talk to them till the time I have the evidence. So he said that he understands my pain, he said this not only to me but after that M J Akbar ji organized lunch and dinner for him, at that time also he reiterated the same thing. He said that please tell your External Affairs Minister that we will search thoroughly and now whatever we will be telling her, we will tell with evidence, we will not tell anything without any evidence.
So I want to tell you, Madam Speaker, I never misled and what would be my benefit by misleading? I have a lot of faith in democracy and even more faith in the Parliament and I believe that if a minister or a Member of Parliament stands on the floor of Parliament and makes false statement, then it is a serious crime. But even if someone does, they would be doing it for some benefit or gain, either a personal gain or for their government, or even to harm others. I want to ask my colleagues, what is the benefit that I am getting, or my government is getting or what harm it is causing to others?
I am just performing my duty. See, if I declare them dead then it is very easy for me, neither will these people ask questions nor the family members will come to me. They will say since you have said, they have been killed, but I will tell you another incident, Madam Speaker which is worth listening.
A year ago 6 families from the same Punjab came to meet me and they said that someone’s husband, someone's father and somebody's son had been declared martyrs in the battle of 71. They said at that time TV was not there, it was announced on All India Radio that they have been martyred and considering them dead we did their Ardasa and moved on.
After 45 years, now they are saying, a person from their village came out from a jail in 2016 and he told us that they are alive, these martyr people were in jail with him. Since then those families are asking me to bring them back. On the very same day I took their photos and other particulars, and sent all that to our Islamabad High Commissioner and asked him that according to this person these people are in this jail, so please confirm from there and tell me. Now Pakistan says that these people are not with them. The list of prisoners that they have, their names are not present in that list.
Now those families are after me to bring their people back. At that time, in 1971, the then Government had said, look he is nodding because he knows. That is why now 45 years later, they are asking me to bring their people back. They telephone me twice a day, in between when I was unwell, they could not contact me, now they telephone me twice in a day. I am telling them that we are engaged on this, there is a judicial committee, we can reconstruct that so that they can go to the jail and check.
But I am saying that on one side it is this. I'll tell about another case. 21 years ago a seven year old kid crossed the border while he was playing with his father, his name is Nanak Singh. Now his whole family is telling me that he is in a Pakistani jail, you must bring him back. We are telling them that Pakistan has repeatedly denied that there is no person of that name, then we sent photos to check if there is any person with that face, they again said no. Now the family has filed a writ in the Punjab-Haryana High Court to direct the government to bring him back.
So my point to say is that on one side, the entire family of Nanak Singh is asking me to bring him back, whatever Pakistan may be saying but bring him back. On the other hand, these 6 families are saying that in 1971 the then government had declared these people martyr, but they are alive, bring them back.
I will tell you more case which you might be knowing, Major Dhan Singh Thapa, the government of that time declared him a martyr and posthumously awarded him with Param Vir Chakra and later he came out alive as he was in a Chinese jail.
So I am not saying this. I spoke to the Russian Foreign Minister. I asked him, Excellency can you do anything? He told me that our three truck drivers were kidnapped, after seven years they came back alive, you must keep patience.
I am not saying that 7 years or 41 years, I am saying that even if after a week, what the Iraqi Foreign Minister has been saying, if he provides any evidence then I will come here and accept that whether he says so many of them are alive and so many are dead, I will accept that. But whatever I will say, I will say with evidence. And I am also saying that even till today, I have not said from my side that they are alive. I only said that one person is saying that they have been killed, rest of our sources are saying that they have not been killed, so it is incumbent on government to search them and that is why I am searching for them and I am doing it with the permission of this House.
And I would like to say to you Madam Speaker, till the time I have no concrete evidence, I will continue the search because, I want to repeat this, declaring somebody dead without any proof is a sin and I am not going to be a partner in this sin.
My inner self says that, maybe after few days, there will come such an evidence which will uncover the mystery from this story, Madam Speaker, I am waiting for that day. Source: Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi
4. English translation of Response by External Affairs Minister in Rajya Sabha regarding 39 Indian nationals missing in Iraq (27 July 2017), 28 July 2017
External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj: Thank you Deputy Chairman Sir, I do not want to react, I want to respond. Deputy Chairman Sir, eight days back i.e. on 19 July 2017, during the Zero hour, Sardar Pratap Singh Bajwa Ji raised the issue of 39 Indians who were abducted in Iraq. At that time Pramod Tiwari, Ambika Soni, Shamsher Singh Dhulo, Digvijay Singh, K Rehman Khan, Renuka Chowdhary, Ripun Bora and few other members of parliaments also attached themselves to the subject.
It is the obligation of my duty that I must answer all the questions raised on this very serious subject by Bajwa Ji in this house. It would have been better if he would have been present here now, but Anand Sharma Ji and other colleagues of Congress are present here who can tell what answers I have given to his questions.
Deputy Chairman Sir, that day Bajwa Ji was very angry hence he used very attacking language. He made certain allegations against me and also on government, however looking at the seriousness of the subject I will not speak in resentment. I will answer his question very decently because it is not my aim to make accusations, my aim is to provide satisfactory resolution to him and to the House, because many a thing are spoken due to the lack of information.
Deputy Chairman Sir, first thing that he said, ‘Minister said they are very much alive; they are in Mosul and they would ensure that everybody comes out safely.’ Deputy Chairman Sir, I have never said this thing either in the House or outside anywhere else. On 24 November 2014, there was a discussion on this topic in both the houses and it was me only who had started those discussions because just a day prior to those discussions two people from Bangladesh had said Harjeet Masih is telling them that those people have been killed. Therefore I myself came to the House and had put my point clearing the air around it. At that time Bajwa Ji was not a member of Rajya Sabha, he was a member of Lok Sabha.
Sir, he did not listen what I had said in the Rajya Sabha, but he did hear whatever I said in the Lok Sabha. Since, proceedings of other house cannot be read here, so I have brought it in written form. I will give it to Anand Sharma Ji so that he can see what I had said in the Lok Sabha. If he is saying on the basis of that, then I have said the same thing over there also.
Sir, what I had said in the Rajya Sabha, all the colleagues are sitting here and they know, I had said, "Today I don’t have any concrete evidence of them being alive and neither do I have any proof of them being dead, but I am saying this the day I got a concrete evidence of anyone who can validate what Harjeet has been saying, then I will confess this. Right now we don’t have anybody who can validate what Harjeet has been saying.” After that I said, "After Harjeet’s story we had two options, first that we believe it is true and declare them dead and stop searching for them. Second option, because of contradictions in his statement we would not accept his version and we keep on searching for them. So it was not only the obligation of wisdom but it was also obligation of government’s responsibility that discarding his statement we must engage in their search and that is what we did.
After that I say this to the House that now the House should tell me whether I should believe in Harjeet’s statement and stop their search or I should believe in our other good sources who are giving us hope that they have not been killed and keep on searching for them? I believe it is the obligation of my wisdom that I should continue with the search and it is the obligation of my responsibility also that I should continue with the search.
After that I say this to all of you that the path which I have taken, leaving first option and searching for them, so this house should give me permission.” I not only inform did the House but I had also sought permission from the House. Further I said, "This House should give me permission that I should move on that path and we must pray from God that they all are safe and come back home.”
Sir, at that time, all the members, some by patting table, some by giving indications and some by their nod, gave me permission and only you were the chairperson at that time. At that you had said Deputy Chairman: "Now, let us hope for good news and let us pray for them.”
Deputy Chairman Sir, I had never once said that they are alive. I had never once said that I ensure their safe return. I had said that you all pray they are safe and they come back. I had said that I do not have any concrete evidence of their death or them being alive. So please tell Bajwa Ji that what he said that I had said it on floor of the House that is completely baseless.
Sir, after that he said another thing, "You please see what has been done, what is Government of India doing? Now they are saying that they are not in Mosul, nearby there is village named Badush, they have been taken there.”
Deputy Chairman Sir, I have never said this thing. Whole House knows that on the 9th Iraqi Prime Minister announced that Mosul has been liberated from ISIS. Fulfilling its responsibility government sent General V K Singh to Mosul on the very next day i.e. on the 10th.
Bajwa Ji has just come into the House. Whatever I have spoken prior to now, Anand Sharma Ji will tell you, but right now I am at your page number two where you have said that what is the government doing, now government is saying that they have been taken to Badush.
Deputy Chairman Sir, General Singh stayed there for two days but when no information could be gathered he went to Baghdad, there he had talks with a very senior official of Iraq. He showed General Singh a report which was in Arabic and then translated it in English to General Singh. He said according to our reports they were captured in Mosul Airfield, held captive for some days and then they were engaged in hospital construction work. Later after some days they were engaged in farming. In the beginning of 2016 they all were taken to Badush Prison, this is the last information, after that we have not had any contact with them.
This thing that they have been taken to Badush, that officer had said that it was done in the beginning of 2016. This picture which shows that Badush Prison has been destroyed, this is three months old. Start of 2016 means that now it has been around one and a half years. He said that, "We don’t have any information.” Immediately I called their family members. As soon as I got the information that General Singh will be coming next day, I immediately called them to be here on the next day. So I informed all these things, as they were, to all of them and then I asked General Singh that since you had spoken about it so you must tell them directly. So he told them this thing, "In the beginning of 2016, they all were taken to Badush Prison, after that we don’t have any contact with them, this is our last information.”
This is being said by a senior official of Iraq to the foreign minister of the country. After that I had said the same thing while addressing the media that they are saying, "They were taken to Badush Prison in the beginning of 2016, after that we do not have any information.” Now a senior official of a country is saying these words to foreign minister of another country, so we told the very same thing, without adding any comma or removing any full stop, to their family members and later we told the same to the media in front of everybody. Now Bajwa Ji is accusing us and saying, "They are changing the goal post. This shows the credibility of the NDA government. How do we protect our people?”
Bajwa Ji, whether you may say anything but how do we protect our people, for this thing not only this House is a witness to that but the whole country is also witness to that. Everybody says, "Relief for stranded persons abroad is a tweet away; just a tweet away.” I am saying this to the whole House that if any person can say this to me, who has come to me and had asked help for someone stranded abroad and I did not provide that help. I must tell you, Deputy Chairman Sir, you yourself have witnessed this, how many letters you have written to me and how many times you have requested me.
Anand Bhai, we have brought 80,000 people in last three years, 80,000 people. This figure of 80,000 is of whom? Deputy Chairman Sir, this figure of 80,000 is of only those people for whom we have bought tickets from our own money. This figure does not include those people who bought their own tickets and just sought help from us. This does not include 1,05,000 people which we have brought back from Nepal. This does not include 31,000 people whom we are helping in Saudi Amnesty, 80,000 stranded people.
You talk about Father Tom. How many times you have written to me! We also brought even the kidnapped ones… (Interruption)
The kidnapped and abducted people, you know that we brought back Father Prem Kumar, we brought back Judith. We brought two abducted sailors from Nigeria, we brought abducted sailors from Somalia and Sudan. That day you have also written to me for Father Tom. When Foreign Minister of Yemen came here, I told him that my first request to you would be to please bring him. Hence, saying this, "How do we protect our people”, this question is asked from us and it is said that this is an issue of Credibility of government. At the least no one can question this government’s credibility with regard to protection of its people, I want to say this in front of you.
Sir, there is one another thing which he said. At the end he said, first he said, "You must answer where our young people are or be brave enough and apologize that you have erred and our young people are no more now.” Bajwa Ji, what should I apologize for? What do you want me to apologize for, that I haven’t declared them dead? Should I apologize for this thing? You mean that I must apologize and say that those young men are no more?
Deputy Chairman Sir, standing on the floor of this House I want to say that instead of apologizing I would like to repeat that till the time I have any evidence of them being killed, I won’t declare them dead, I would not declare that they are deceased. Deputy Chairman Sir, saying that someone is dead, someone is deceased, this is a crime at the personal level and it is irresponsible at the level of government.
Hence, neither will I do this irresponsible thing and nor would I commit this crime. But I would like to say this to Bajwa Ji, if he is convinced by his inner self that those people have been killed, I am giving false statement, I am giving false consolation, then you are free, you can gather family members of all those persons and tell them do not trust Sushma Swaraj, she is showing you wrong direction, she is giving false hopes, you must do the Ardasa and move on.
Now this is unto their families whether they believe or not, hence I want to say this, and not only Bajwa Ji ….(Interruption)
Pratap Singh Bajwa: Sir…….(Interruption)
External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj: Let me speak once. Not only Bajwa Ji, any leader, any MP, any journalist or media person, if they believe and if they are convinced that they have been killed, then they can say this thing on their own responsibility, I will not say it. If their family members also believe that I am giving false assurance, I am making false statement, their children have been killed then they are also free to perform the Ardasa but if anyone from them comes out to alive then it will be their responsibility, it won’t be my responsibility. But here I would like to say one thing, since he has said that I am misleading. He has also said this at the end, "This is my request not to sit on it like this, don’t mislead the country, don’t mislead the parliament, it is the question of credibility of whole country, if Foreign Minister will do this then who will have faith in such government, this is what I have to say.”
First thing you had said that don’t sit on it like this. Bajwa Ji, we are not sitting with folded arms. Deputy Chairman Sir, we have sought help from all such countries which could help us in this issue. Just now I said, "On 9th Prime Minister of Iraq says that Mosul has been liberated and on 10th General V K Singh reached there.” Are we just sitting like this? We are not sitting with folded arms.
Secondly, you are saying that don’t mislead, I would like to ask this question very politely that why would I mislead? Please tell me why would I mislead, what benefit will accrue to me because of this, because misleading while standing in parliament is a crime. Someone will do this crime if there is some benefit to them or to their government. Please tell me what will I benefit from misleading? What benefit will my government get by misleading? So I am not misleading.
I will just say one thing and then sit down that the day I get any evidence, a concrete evidence, once I get that then without delay, if there is an on-going parliament session then I will seek permission from the Chair and stop the proceedings and I will present that information here. If the parliament is not in session then with in ten minutes I will provide the information to the whole country on twitter.
If their families would not telephone on their own, then we will telephone them and call them here. If there is good news then I will participate in their celebrations and if the news is bad then I will participate in their sorrow, but I will not declare them dead without any evidence. Repeating it once again, I would end it here. Source: Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi
6. Pre-Dinner Press Statement by Prime Minister at Residence of Prime Minister of Israel, Tel Aviv, 4 July 2017
(My good friend) Prime Minister Netanyahu
Friends from the Media, I thank Prime Minister Netanyahu and Sara Netanyahu for opening their home to me today. I am most grateful for their warm and generous hospitality.
Just a short while back, I laid a wreath at the Yad Vashem Memorial museum to remember and honour over six million Jewish lives that were lost in the horror of the holocaust. Yad Vashem is a reminder of the unspeakable evil inflicted generations ago. It is also a tribute to your unbreakable spirit to rise above the depths of tragedy, overcome hatred and forge ahead to build a vibrant democratic nation. Yad Vashem tells us that those who believe in humanity and civilized values must come together and defend it at all costs. As such, we must resolutely oppose the evils of terrorism, radicalism and violence that plague our time.
7. PM arrives in Israel; accorded ceremonial welcome at Ben-Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv, 4 July 2017
The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv today.
As part of an elaborate official welcome ceremony, Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, received Prime Minister Modi on arrival. Prime Minister Modi inspected a ceremonial Guard of Honour.
Prime Minister Netanyahu began his press statement with the Hindi words "....."
He said the Prime Minister is welcomed with open arms and even the sky is not the limit for cooperation between the two countries. He described the Prime Minister as a great leader and a "world leader.” Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister began with the Hebrew greeting "Shalom le'kulam. He went on to add in Hebrew "I am delighted to be here in Israel."
8. India-Israel Joint Statement during the visit of Prime Minister to Israel, Tel Aviv, 5 July 2017
Marking the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India visited Israel from 4-6 July 2017 at the invitation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel. This historic first-ever visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Israel solidified the enduring friendship between their peoples and raised the bilateral relationship to that of a strategic partnership.
Noting that they represent two cradles of civilizations that have nurtured their respective heritages over the centuries, the two leaders affirmed their intention to build a broad-based relationship that will realize the full potential of their association. In doing so, they recognized that throughout history, the Jewish Communities have always had a home in India and have been treated with warmth and respect.
Reviewing the development of the relationship after a quarter century of diplomatic ties, the two leaders agreed on initiatives and policies that would reflect the goals and aspirations of both nations and widen their collaborative endeavours in a broad range of areas. They visualized that the two countries will become close partners in development, technology, innovation, entrepreneurship, defines and security.
Recognizing its centrality for development, India and Israel agreed to establish a "Strategic Partnership in Water and Agriculture”. This will focus on water conservation, waste-water treatment and its reuse for agriculture, desalination, water utility reforms, and the cleaning of the Ganges and other rivers using advanced water technologies. It will also include the reinforcement and expansion of the existing Centres of Excellence (COE) under the stewardship of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MASHAV) and the Ministry of Agriculture of India to promote commercially viable business models involving Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs); the provision of quality planting material; and the transfer of post-harvest technical know-how and market linkages involving the private sector through PPP, B2B & other models. The two leaders also agreed on the establishment of a Joint Working Group to steer this Partnership.
The two Prime Ministers noted the importance of realizing the full potential of bilateral trade and investment. They tasked the India-Israel CEO Forum to come up with early recommendations in this regard. Both leaders underlined the need to boost bilateral cooperation in innovation and entrepreneurship and called for greater collaboration in the field of start-ups.
Recognizing the importance of facilitating movement of businessmen and women, India and Israel underlined their expectation that the granting of multiple entry visas to business people for up to five years will encourage greater economic and commercial exchanges.
The two Prime Ministers agreed that negotiations would be conducted on an agreement for the Protection of Investments in order to encourage bilateral investments from both sides.
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the conclusion of the Memorandum of Understanding for establishing the India-Israel Industrial R&D and Innovation Fund (I4F) by the Department of Science and Technology, India and the National Authority for Technological Innovation, Israel with a contribution of US$ 20 million from each side. This MoU will play a seminal role in enabling Indian and Israeli enterprises to undertake joint R&D projects leading to development of innovative technologies and products that have potential for commercial application.
Recognizing the importance of fostering wide ranging knowledge-business partnership for industries, R&D institutions and government agencies from both countries, Israel warmly welcomed India’s offer to be the "Partner Country” for the annual Technology Summit to be held in India in 2018.
Both leaders welcomed the on-going cooperation between the Israel Space Agency (ISA) and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). They expressed satisfaction over the signing of three MoUs and Plan of Cooperation in the areas of Cooperation in Atomic Clocks; GEO-LEO Optical Link; Academic collaboration and Electric propulsion for small satellites which would further enhance cooperation between the two countries. They also encouraged the two Space Agencies to further enhance the growing relationship for mutual benefit. The two leaders acknowledged that the recent launching by ISRO of an Israeli nano satellite is an important milestone in this arena.
The Prime Ministers noted with satisfaction that both sides have agreed to upgrade their scientific and technological collaboration by supporting joint research and development projects in the cutting edge areas, including ‘Big Data Analytics in Health Care’. They directed the India-Israel Joint Committee on Science and Technology to explore the possibility of further advancement of scientific collaboration including setting up of Networked Centres of Research Excellence in the cutting edge areas of mutual strength and interest.
Reaffirming the importance of bilateral defines cooperation over the years, it was agreed that future developments in this sphere should focus on joint development of defines products, including transfer of technology from Israel, with a special emphasis on the 'Make in India' initiative.
India and Israel are committed to promote security and stability in cyberspace on both the governmental and private levels. The Prime Ministers emphasized the importance of enhanced dialogue between their national cyber authorities and expressed their commitment to expand and accelerate their cooperation in this sphere including laying a mutual roadmap for its implementation. Both sides also recognize the value of enhancing and further institutionalizing their broad-based cooperation on cyber issues through a Framework for cooperation in the area of cyber security.
Recognizing that terrorism poses a grave threat to global peace and stability, the two Prime Ministers reiterated their strong commitment to combat it in all its forms and manifestations. They stressed that there can be no justification for acts of terror on any grounds whatsoever. The leaders asserted that strong measures should be taken against terrorists, terror organizations, their networks and all those who encourage, support and finance terrorism, or provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups. They also underscored the need to ensure that terrorist organizations do not get access to any WMD or technologies. Both leaders also committed to cooperate for the early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT).
Both leaders reaffirmed their commitments as envisaged in the agreement on cooperation on Homeland and Public Security and encouraged the various Working Groups to implement the agreement in an efficient and effective manner.
The two Prime Ministers underlined the importance of enhanced collaboration in the field of Higher Education and Research and agreed to promote this through relevant agreements and the Joint Research Grant Programme.
Noting the importance of growing people to people contacts between India and Israel, the two leaders agreed to facilitate the promotion of travel & tourism in both directions, including through the further enhancement of air links between India and Israel.
Appreciating the contribution of the Jewish community in India and Jews of Indian origin in Israel in bringing the two societies closer, Prime Minister Modi announced the opening of an Indian Cultural Centre in Israel. This was warmly welcomed by Prime Minister Netanyahu who expressed his deep respect for Indian culture and recalled Israel's strong support and sponsorship of PM Modi's initiative to promote the practice of Yoga by designating June 21 as International Yoga Day.
The two Prime Ministers recognized the contribution of Indian care-givers in Israel and expressed their intention to reach a mutually agreed-upon arrangement which will provide for their continued arrival in a regulated manner.
The two Prime Ministers discussed the developments pertaining to the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process. They underlined the need for the establishment of a just and durable peace in the region. They reaffirmed their support for an early negotiated solution between the sides based on mutual recognition and security arrangements
During the visit, the following Agreements were signed:
i. MoU between the Department of Science & Technology, India and National Technological Innovation Authority, Israel for setting up of India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F).
ii. MoU between the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation of the Republic of India and the Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources of the State of Israel on National Campaign for Water Conservation in India
iii. MoU between U.P. Jal Nigam, Government of Uttar Pradesh, of the Republic of India and the Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources of the State of Israel on State Water Utility Reform in India
iv. India-Israel Development Cooperation - Three Year Work Program in Agriculture 2018-2020
v. Plan of Cooperation Between the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the Israel Space Agency (ISA) regarding cooperation in Atomic Clocks
vi. MoU between the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the Israel Space Agency (ISA)regarding cooperation in GEO-LEO Optical Link
vii. MoU between the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the Israel Space Agency (ISA) regarding cooperation in Electric Propulsion for Small Satellites
Prime Minister Modi thanked the people and Government of Israel for their gracious hospitality and extended a warm invitation to Prime Minister Netanyahu to visit India at a mutually convenient time. Prime Minister Netanyahu accepted the invitation. Source: Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi
05 July 2017
Title of MoUs/Agreements
MoU between the Department of Science & Technology, India and National Technological Innovation Authority, Israel for setting up of India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F).
MoU between the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation of the Republic of India and the Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources of the State of Israel on National Campaign for Water Conservation in India
MoU between U.P. Jal Nigam, Government of Uttar Pradesh, of the Republic of India and the Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources of the State of Israel on State Water Utility Reform in India
India-Israel Development Cooperation - Three Year Work Program in Agriculture 2018-2020
Plan of Cooperation Between the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the Israel Space Agency (ISA) regarding cooperation in Atomic Clocks
MoU between the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the Israel Space Agency (ISA)regarding cooperation in GEO-LEO Optical Link
MoU between the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the Israel Space Agency (ISA) regarding cooperation in Electric Propulsion for Small Satellites
10. Press Statement by Prime Minister during his visit to Israel, New Delhi, 5 July 2017
Your Excellency Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Members of the media,
Thank you, Excellency, for your warm words of welcome. And, for the exceptional generosity with your time and friendship. I will truly cherish the most wonderful dinner that you and Mrs. Netanyahu hosted for me yesterday. Our conversation last night, meeting Mrs. Netanyahu, learning about your family especially what you told me about your father has taken my experience of your beautiful country to a whole new level. India admires the success of your people in overcoming adversity to advance, innovate and flourish against all odds. I am honoured to be in Israel on this extra-ordinary visit. In our modern journey, our paths have been different, but our belief in democratic values and economic progress has been a shared pursuit.
This visit is an occasion:
to rejuvenate the bonds of our friendship;
to compose a new chapter in our ties; and
to jointly venture towards new horizons of engagement.
Prime Minister Netanyahu and I have had productive discussions covering an extensive menu of issues. Not just on areas of bilateral opportunities. But, also how our cooperation can help the cause of global peace and stability. Our goal is to build a relationship that reflects our shared priorities and draws on enduring bonds between our peoples.
Israel is among the leading nations in the field of innovation, water and agricultural technology. These are also among my priority areas in India’s development. We agreed that efficiency of water and resource use; water conservation and its purification; productivity increases in agriculture are key areas in deepening our bilateral cooperation. We are of one view that together our scientists and researchers would develop, build and implement mutually beneficial solutions in the field. Our decision to establish a bilateral Technology Innovation Fund worth US$ 40 million for research in industrial development will help us in achieving this goal. We regard thriving two-way trade and investment flows as the bedrock of a strong partnership. Prime Minister Netanyahu and I agreed on the need to do more in this direction. Businesses on both sides should take primary lead in such efforts. This would also be our message to the CEO Forum tomorrow.
India and Israel live in complex geographies. We are aware of strategic threats to regional peace and stability. India has suffered first-hand the violence and hatred spread by terror. So has Israel. Prime Minister Netanyahu and I agreed to do much more together to protect our strategic interests and also cooperate to combat growing radicalization and terrorism, including in cyber space. We also discussed the situation in West Asia and wider region. It is India’s hope that peace, dialogue, and restraint will prevail.
Our people hold natural affinity and warmth for each other. The Indian-origin Jewish community reminds us of these bonds. It also serves as a bridge to a shared future. In recent years, we have been receiving a large number of Israeli tourists in India. At the same time, more and more Indian students are choosing to pursue advance academics and research in your best universities. I am confident that the strength of these links, old and new, will hold us in good stead as we forge a partnership for the 21st century.
Around 150 kilometres from here, there is a slice of history in the city of Haifa in Israel that is very dear to my country. This is the final resting place for forty-four of the Indian soldiers who sacrificed their lives during World War 1 to liberate that city. Tomorrow, I will travel to Haifa to pay homage to our brave Indian soldiers.
It has been a productive and memorable twenty-four hours in Israel. I am sure that the rest of my stay would be equally exciting. Let me also take this chance to invite you and Netanyahu and your family to visit India. I again thank you for your warm welcome and hospitality.
Thank you very much. Shalom! Source: Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi
11. Indian Embassy extends help to its nationals, Kuwait, 19 July 2017
Indian Embassy has been rendering all possible assistance to distressed Indian nationals in Kuwait. The Community Welfare Wing in the Embassy extends help in following cases: -
(i) Issuance of Emergency Certificate: Community Welfare Wing officials regularly visit Police stations, Detention Cell, Deportation Centre etc. to meet Indian detainees for conducting interviews for issuing travel documents (Emergency Certificates) to those not having passports with them to facilitate their repatriation to India. Detainees at these stations are mainly visa violators, which could be due to non-renewal of residency visa or violation of local Residency law. After completion of formalities in police stations/detention centre, they are shifted to Deportation Centre for eventual deportation to India. The Embassy makes consistent efforts for expeditious repatriation of all such stranded Indian workers. However, due to the strict immigration rules & regulations in Kuwait, the entire process of repatriation is time-consuming and duration varies from case-to-case basis. It is advisable to keep a copy of passport or Civil Id, in case original is not available as this will be helpful in case identity is not established through finger-print report. [Please note that if anyone is deported on the strength of passport despite the fact that EC is applied or made, one should contact Indian Embassy or Passport Office (reference link- http://indembkwt.org/DispNews.aspx?ID=1085. Furthermore, the release of visa/residency violators from detention depends solely on the timely intervention by the respective employer/ sponsor with appropriate documents before Kuwaiti authorities.
(ii) Pursuing Travel Ban cases: Some Indian workers are stranded due to “travel ban” imposed on them for various reasons including on-going trial/ investigation/ pending dues which prevents them from leaving Kuwait till removal of the restriction. Travel Ban can be removed by paying a fine determined by the court or serving the imprisonment period. In such cases one may need a lawyer. However, in case Embassy’s intervention is required at any point, the consular officer in the Community Welfare Wing may be approached for help and guidance.
(iii) Consular Visit to Jails: Although Indian community in Kuwait is by and large hard-working, honest and law-abiding, few Indian nationals are in Kuwaiti jails either serving sentence or under trial for various charges. Embassy’s Consular officials undertake monthly visits to jails of Kuwait to meet the Indian prisoners and the issues raised by the Indian inmates are taken up appropriately for redressal. Those sentenced for deportation after completion of sentence period are shifted to Deportation Centre for eventual repatriation to India after completion of formalities. In this regard, Embassy officials coordinate with Kuwaiti authorities for their early travel to India including providing Emergency Certificate for those whose passports are not available or expired. However, in case there is no deportation order in the verdict after completion of sentence period, the individual concerned is advised to approach respective sponsor to regularize one’s residency.
(iv) Repatriation of distressed patients: Officials from Community Welfare section regularly undertake visit to hospitals to look after welfare of destitutes and needy Indian nationals admitted in serious conditions. Many of them do not hold valid residency visa. In such situation, Embassy coordinates with Kuwaiti Immigration authority for finger-print and clearance for deportation of patient from the hospital itself. Free air passage is provided by the Embassy to destitute Indian patients, wherever required. Indian community is requested to come forward specially for arranging an escort to accompany the patient.
(v) Whereabouts cases: The Embassy receives queries regarding whereabouts of missing Indians/ not in contact with relatives etc. either directly from the relatives or through Ministers, MPs, MLAs or institutions such as NORKA etc. In such cases, the Embassy undertakes detailed enquiry on the basis of available details viz. passport number, Civil ID, details of sponsors etc. The sponsor and the local Kuwaiti authorities are also approached to locate the whereabouts of missing Indian nationals. [In many instances, it has been noted that relatives do not give full details and also wilfully hiding facts like residency status, suspected involved in any illegal activities, outcome of enquiries already made etc. which results in wastage of time and resource. Please give all possible details including contact number of known local friends/ contacts of the missing person in Kuwait, which is utilized in tracing missing person in Kuwait.
(vi) Marriage Disputes: Marriage disputes including complaints against spouses for physical and mental harassment are also dealt by the Community Welfare Wing wherein Consular officers meet both the parties, enquire into the complaints and take necessary action. Embassy’s Community Welfare section can be approached to avail of facilities under Indian government’s scheme for providing legal/ financial assistance to Indian women deserted by their overseas Indian/ foreigner husbands. The details may be seen at link- http://indembkwt.org/DispNews.aspx?ID=971. Source: Embassy of India, Kuwait
12. Celebrations Of 70th Anniversary Of India’s Independence Day, Kuwait, 27 July 2017
A flag hoisting ceremony will be held at Indian Embassy premises in Diplomatic Enclave on Arabian Gulf Street on Tuesday, 15 August 2017 at 0800 hours to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of India’s Independence Day.
2. After the unfurling of the tri-colour National Flag, Ambassador’s message and cultural programme will follow. Light refreshments (Chhole Bhature, Gulab Jamun, tea, juice, water, etc.) will be served to all.
3. All Indian nationals in Kuwait are most cordially invited to attend the celebrations. (Please arrive by 0730 hours). Source: Embassy of India, Kuwait
13. Ambassador with Mrs. Noura Joumblatt, Founding President, Beiteddine Festival at the exhibition on late Lebanese leader Kamal Joumblatt (1917-77), Beirut, 31 July 2017
Ambassador with Mrs. Noura Joumblatt, Founding President, Beiteddine Festival at the exhibition on late Lebanese leader Kamal Joumblatt (1917-77). Source: Embassy of India, Beirut
14. Ambassador attended UN Medal Presentation in honour of INDBATT; event graced by UNIFIL FC Gen Michael Beary, MP Ali Osseiran & other dignitaries, Beirut, 31 July 2017
Ambassador attended UN Medal Presentation in honour of INDBATT; event graced by UNIFIL FC Gen Michael Beary, MP Ali Osseiran & other dignitaries. Source: Embassy of India, Beirut
15. Cabinet apprised of the MoU signed between India and Palestine on cooperation in the field of on youth affairs and sports, New Delhi, 26 July 2017
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Palestine on cooperation in the field of youth affairs and sports.
The MoU will help in promoting exchange of ideas, values and culture amongst all youth irrespective of their caste, religion and gender as well as development of sports in the two countries. In turn, it will help in consolidating friendly relations between the two countries. Source: Press Information Bureau, New Delhi
16. Cabinet apprised of MoU between India and Palestine on cooperation in the field of Information Technology and Electronics, New Delhi, 12 July 2017
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Palestine on Cooperation in the field of Information Technology and Electronics (IT&E)
The MoU intends to promote closer co-operation in the areas of e-Governance, m-Governance, e-Public Services Delivery, cyber security, software technology parks, start-ups ecosystem etc.
The MoU shall come into effect from date of signature of the parties and shall remain in force for a period of 5 years. The MoU shall be implemented by establishing a Working Group on IT&E composed of representatives of the two Parties. Bilateral Cooperation in ICT domain both B2B and G2G will be enhanced. It envisages improving B2B collaboration leading to employment opportunities.
India has strong political support to the Palestinian cause at international and bilateral levels. India has been contributing material and technical assistance to the Palestinian people. The MOU on cooperation in the field of IT&E was initiated during the 1st Session of JCM in November, 2016. After several negotiations draft MoU was finalized and signed during the VVIP visit from Palestine in May 2017. Source: Press Information Bureau, New Delhi
17. Statement by India on certain resolutions adopted during the 44th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of OIC States held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire on 10-11 July 2017, 25
July 25, 2017
India notes with utmost regret that the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), during its 44th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire on 10-11 July 2017, has again adopted certain resolutions which contain factually incorrect and misleading references to matters internal to India, including the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral part of India.
India out rightly rejects all such references.
The OIC has no locus standing on India’s internal affairs. We strongly advise the OIC to refrain from making such references in future. Source: Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi
1 Crore = 10 million. Lakh = 100,000
Note: For Lok Sabha and Press Information Bureau the items can be searched by Date and Ministries concerned.
As part of the policy, the MEI@ND standardizes spellings and date format to make the text uniformly accessible and stylistically consistent. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views/positions of the MEI@ND. Editor, MEI@ND P R Kumaraswamy
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