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11th India Iran Joint Consular Committee Meeting (JCCM), New Delhi, 16 May 2019.

The 11th Joint Consular Committee Meeting between Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Iran took place on May 14, 2019 in a friendly and constructive atmosphere in New Delhi. Mr. Amit Narang, Joint Secretary (CPV) led the Indian side, while the Iran delegation was led by H.E. Mr. Ali Asghar Mohammadi, Director General for Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran.

The meeting provided an opportunity to review the status of on-going cooperation in consular and visa related issues and to discuss ways and means to further expand people to people contacts and promote friendly exchanges between India and Iran.

Both sides discussed issues of mutual interest including early conclusion of Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance on civil and commercial matters, extending longer duration of e-Visa for each other nationals on reciprocity, visa facilitation for greater people to people contacts, etc. Source: Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).


Israel proposes India to be the focus country in Jerusalem Film Festival 2020, Cannes, 16 May 2019.

The Indian Delegation led by I&B Secretary Shri Amit Khare today met Film Commissioners of participating countries at Cannes Film Festival. During the meeting, India was positioned as an attractive filming destination by highlighting the steps taken to easy the process of obtaining permissions for filming in India through the Film Facilitation Office which facilitates Single Window Clearance for film-makers. The steps taken by the India Government to combat film piracy were also discussed.

The Indian Delegation highlighted the opportunity of utilizing the abundant talent pool of skilled professionals and technicians and projected the possibility of India emerging as a major post production hub. The focus of the discussion was exploration of co-production opportunities with the participating countries and forage opportunities of collaborations for films with international production houses. The rebates and incentives being explored by the government to incentivize foreign filmmakers further to shoot in India were also highlighted.

During the discussions, Shri Amit Khare talked about the possibility of filmmakers of different countries coming together under bilateral co-production agreements which would also forge new markets and wider audiences by making India a hub for shooting world class international movies. He also talked about the opportunity of creative collaborations in terms of content exchange and explored the idea of cultural exchange through co-creation of content.

The key principles involved in the meeting were Cine Tirol Film Commission, Austria, Ms, Angelika Pagitz, Film Commissioner; Costa Rica Film Commission, Costa Rica, Mr, Castro, Costa Rica Film Commissioner; Film Commission Norway, Norway, Mr, Truls Kontny, Head of Film Commission Norway; Film Development Council Of The Philippines, Philippines, Ms, Mary Liza Dino, Chairperson / CEO; Italian Film Commissions, Italy, Ms, Stefania Ippoliti, President IFC; Location Austria - The National Film Commission, Austria, Mr, Arie Bohrer, Film Commissioner; Netherlands Film Fund / Netherlands Film Commission, Netherlands, Ms, Doreen Boonekamp, CEO; Swedish Film Commissions, Sweden, Mr, Marketing, Mikael Svensson, Certified Film Commissioner; Swedish Film Commissions, Sweden, Ms, Mia Uddgren, Film Commissioner; Taipei Culture Foundation - Taipei Film Commission, Taiwan, Ms, Jennifer JAO, Director; Telefilm Canada, Canada, Ms,  Marielle Poupelin, Director, International Promotion.

The Indian Delegation also met Mr. Marc Tessier, President, Film France. The Delegates talked about amendments in the already existing co-production treaty between India and France to include animation, gaming and visual effects. The idea of conducting workshops to further the deep cultural connection between the two countries was also discussed.

The Delegation further met Ms. Eti Cohen, Director of Film Department and Council, Ministry of Culture and Sports, Israel. During the meeting, Israel proposed India to be the focus country in Jerusalem Film Festival, 2020. The buzz created by the Hindi movie Newton in Israel was also highlighted by the Israeli Delegation. Israel also proposed the idea of making concept based films in India, with a focus on regional and small budget films.

In order to further enhance the appeal of India as the go-to destination for filming, India has been positioned prominently on the Pocket Guide of Marche Du Film, Cannes Film Market, which celebrates Indian cinema as the world’s largest film industry. Source: Press Information Bureau (PIB).


Visit of Secretary (Economic Relations) To Lebanon, Beirut, 24 May 2019.

H.E. Mr. T.S. Tirumurti, Secretary (Economic Relations), Ministry of External Affairs visited Lebanon from 21-22 May, 2019 and had separate meetings with HE Amb. Hani Chemaitelly, Secretary General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants of Lebanon and Mr. Nadim Mulla, Advisor to Prime Minister of Lebanon on 22 May, 2019. Their discussions focused on India-Lebanon bilateral relations. Colonel Jeevan B, Commanding Officer, Indian Battalion - XX (11 Jat Regiment Infantry Battalion Group) of United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) called on Secretary (ER) and briefed him about the activities of INDBATT. Secretary (ER) visited Commonwealth War Cemetery to pay respect to the Indian soldiers who laid their lives during World Wars I and II. Secretary (ER) also visited a street in Beirut that is named after Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. Source: Embassy of India, Beirut.


Visit of Secretary (ER) and Joint Secretary (WANA) to Damascus (May 19-21, 2019), Damascus, 22 May 2019.

Shri T.S. Tirumurti, Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs and Shri B. Bala Bhaskar, Joint Secretary (WANA) paid a two-day visit to Damascus, Syria between 19 – 21 May, 2019.

During the visit, Secretary (ER) and delegation, which included the Indian Ambassador Dr Hifzur Rahman, held meetings with the Syrian leadership, including Prime Minister H.E. Eng. Imad Khamis, Deputy Prime Minister & Foreign Minister H.E. Mr. Waleed Moallem, Head of the Planning Commission for International Cooperation Mr. Imad Sabouni, Ministers of Electricity (Zouher Kharboutli), Industry (Maan Zein al Abdin), Petroleum & Mineral Resources (Ali Ghanim) and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs & Expatriates (Dr. Faisal Mekdad). They also called on the Grand Mufti of Syria Dr. Ahmad Hassoun.

During his discussions, Secretary (ER) Shri T.S. Tirumurti underlined the historical and close links between the two countries. The Syrian side was deeply appreciative of India’s consistent political support to Syria especially in the recent past during the period of conflict. Secretary (ER) reiterated the need to respect Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and underlined the need for a Syria-led political process.

The two sides condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations including cross-border terrorism. The Indian side thanked the Syrian side for their support, including during the recent terrorist attack in India.

​India and Syria resolved to work together in the reconstruction process. India has already taken up the construction of the Tishreen Power Plant under an Indian Line of Credit. India will also upgrade India-Syria Centre for Excellence in Information Technology. Closer collaboration in a range of other areas is also envisaged, including in energy particularly solar power.

India and Syria have always been working closely in the areas of education and capacity building. The Syrian side thanked the Indian side for extending full financial assistance for an additional 400 Syrian students to study in Indian universities/institutions of higher learning. Secretary (ER) promised to enhance training slots under the ITEC. More than 60 Syrian diplomats were recently trained in the Foreign Service Institute, New Delhi.

​The Indian side thanked the Syrian side for their consistent support for India’s candidature in the UN and other international organizations.

​India will also be holding a camp for world-renowned ‘Jaipur Foot' - an artificial limb fitment camp organized by BMVSS, Rajasthan. This offer of holding the Jaipur Foot Camp, in the context of ‘India for Humanity’ Initiative launched to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, was welcomed by the Syrian side. Source: Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).


India-Turkey Foreign Office Consultations, New Dehi, 08 May 2019.

Mr Sedat Onal, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey is visiting India from 07-09 May 2019. The visit of Deputy Foreign Minister Onal is part of the regular exchange between the two countries. The Deputy Foreign Minister had earlier visited India as part of the delegation of President Erdogan in May 2017.

India and Turkey enjoy close, friendly and deep rooted ties dating back to several centuries and share civilizational links. The recent political exchanges have imparted fresh momentum to our bilateral ties and opened several new avenues for cooperation.

During the visit, Deputy Foreign Minister Onal had a meeting with Mr Gitesh A Sarma, Secretary (West), in New Delhi on 08 May 2019 under the institutional mechanism of Foreign Office Consultations.

Deputy Foreign Minister Onal and Secretary (West) held cordial discussions on various aspects of bilateral ties including examining opportunities for enhancing trade and investment relations. Currently, the bilateral trade stands at around USD 8.6 billion with a target to reach USD 10 billion by 2020. Other aspects such as enhanced cultural interaction, tourism, people-to-people contacts were also discussed. The two sides reviewed current situation in their respective regions and also exchanged views on several multilateral issues. Source: Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

Invest India, Ankara, 10 May 2019

Embassy of India organized an “Invest India Seminar” on 10 May, 2019 with a select group of five large Turkish companies representing construction, metals and mining, energy and engineering consultancy.  The Invest India seminar was organized to engage with major Turkish corporate groups and to acquaint them with the investment opportunities in India.

Ambassador Sanjay Bhattacharyya gave an overview of the Indian economy, the continuing reforms and liberalization in India and the strides made over the last few years, which had transformed India into the fastest growing economy in the world and the most attractive destination for investments. He informed the business community of the strong momentum in economic engagement between India and Turkey and the quantum leap in bilateral trade and investments over the last few years. He highlighted that India had ushered in a shift from ‘red tape to ‘red carpet’ and the business environment of India was characterized by growing ease of doing business, efficiency and competitiveness.

Srividhya, an expert from Invest India, provided a detailed presentation, which was tailor made for the sectors of interest of the Turkish corporate groups attending the seminar, besides the overall business environment in India.  This was followed by a Q&A session, during which a number of sector-specific questions were asked by the companies and a dialogue was established between the companies and Invest India. Invest India is a government-business initiative which has emerged as the highest ranked investment promotion agency globally (according to UN) and provides a full array of facilitation services for potential investors in identification, establishment and hand-holding in post-establishment stage.

The Embassy of India plans to host an Investment Road Show in Turkey in collaboration with Invest India and Turkish business sectors, in the next quarter of 2019, to promote investment and technology flows between India and Turkey and to boost our economic engagement to its true potential. Source: Embassy of India, Ankara.


ADNOC lit up in tricolour and portraits of PM Modi & H.H. Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed, Abu Dhabi, 31 May 2019

As the Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a historic victory in the 17th Lok Sabha elections. The Prime Minister and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed extended a special gesture to felicitate the re-election of the Prime Minister by beautifully lit up and adorned with the flags of India and UAE and visuals of the two leaders at the ADNOC Tower on 30 May 2019.

On the occasion the Ambassador of India to United Arab Emirates, Mr Navdeep Suri said, “Beyond the symbolism of these images is also the clear direction that the Prime Minister and the Crown Prince have provided to diplomats like us to make the India-UAE Comprehensive Strategic Partnership a truly vibrant example of what we can achieve when we work together. We are seeing an unprecedented impact in areas such as trade and investment flows; food and energy security; manpower and skills; literature and culture; defence and security cooperation and, of course, our growing people to people connections.”

As the India-UAE relation has been growing strength by strength over the past few years the felicitation of the Shri Narendra Modi by the UAE government is yet another example of the explicit relation between the two countries.

With the Prime Minister in office for his second term there is an opportunity for further growth and prosperity between the two nations, elaborating on the future projects, Ambassador added, “Since we are standing before the iconic ADNOC tower, let me just take the example of the energy sector. Over the last two years, we have seen it evolve from a simple buyer-seller relationship to a multi-faceted partnership that has led to our first strategic petroleum reserve, our first oil concessions in the Gulf and the agreement to work together in our West coast mega-refinery project”

“If I look at just the first few months of this year, we witnessed the remarkable participation of our Minister for External Affairs as Guest of Honour at the OIC Foreign Ministers’ meeting hosted by Abu Dhabi; announcement of the prestigious Sheikh Zayed award to our Prime Minister; the foundation stone of the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi, and so much more.” Source: Embassy of India, Abu Dhabi.



Al Othaimeen: We Pin Hopes on the Resumption of a Real Indo-Pakistani Dialogue to Address the Issue of Jammu and Kashmir, Jeddah, 30 May 2019.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir convened in Jeddah on 29 May 2019, on the margin of the OIC Foreign Ministers Conference, preparatory to the Islamic Summit’s fourteenth ordinary session being held in Makkah Al Mukarramah.

In his statement to the meeting, the OIC Secretary General, Dr. Yousef Bin Ahmed Al Othaimeen, expressed his hope for a real dialogue to be resumed between Pakistan and India such as to constitute a significant instrument towards a result-driven management of all the outstanding issues, foremost of which the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

The Secretary General reaffirmed the OIC’s principled stand fully in support of the people of Jammu and Kashmir’s achievement of their legitimate rights. He also expressed the hope that the OIC Member States’ support in this regard would be concretized through practical and effective measures in favour of the Kashmiri people.

The meeting called on India to honour the resolutions issued by the UN on the Kashmiri issue, to the effect that the final administration of Jammu and Kashmir shall be defined in accordance with the will of the Kashmiri people to be expressed through a democratic process in the form of a free and integral referendum under the UN patronage.

The Contact Group’s meeting welcomed the recommendations listed in the UN report on Kashmir which was issued in June 2018, and which called for the prompt establishment of a fact-finding committee on Kashmir. It also called on India to allow the UN fact-finding mission and other international human rights and humanitarian bodies to visit Kashmir. Source: Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).