The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu interacted with the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, his Vietnamese counterpart, Ms. Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh the President of Cuba, Mr. Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez and the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , Nicolás Maduro Moros on the sidelines of the XVIII NAM Summit in Baku, Azerbaijan.
During his interaction with the four dignitaries, the Vice President stressed the need to further deepen India’s close relations with Afghanistan, Vietnam, Cuba and Venezuela in all spheres.
In his talks with Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, the Vice President emphasized that India and Afghanistan enjoyed close and friendly relations and added that people-to-people exchanges provided strong foundation to the strategic partnership between the two nations.
He stressed that India wished to see a stable, secure, united, inclusive and prosperous Afghanistan. He assured that India remained committed to work closely with the Government and people of Afghanistan in the development partnership as per the latter’s priorities.
Referring to the bilateral trade which is more than USD 1.1 billion, Shri Naidu said that there was immense potential for growth.
Congratulating Afghanistan for the successful conduct of the elections, he expressed the hope that the outcomes of these elections would promote unity, stability and peace in Afghanistan.
The Vice President also expressed his support for the Afghan Government playing an active and central role in peace and reconciliation.
He observed that stability and prosperity will come to Afghanistan only if the gains of the past 18 years, specially the constitutional order and the rights of women, children and minorities, are preserved.
The Vice President assured President Ghani that India would remain as a steadfast and reliable friend of the government and people of Afghanistan at all times.
The Vice President also met with Ms Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh, Vice President of Vietnam on the sidelines of NAM Summit & Ministerial Meeting in Baku today.
The Vice President spoke of the two millennia-old civilizational relationship and the historical bond of trust and friendship shared by the two nations.
Referring to his participation in the 16th UN Day of Vesak Celebrations at Vietnam in May 2019, he conveyed his heartfelt gratitude to the warm hospitality accorded to him in Vietnam.
He expressed his happiness at the flourishing Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two countries with significant defence and security cooperation, economic engagement, trade and investments, cultural and people-to-people interactions.
Shri Naidu observed that Vietnam, which will assume the chair of ASEAN in 2020, was not just a trustworthy friend but a key pillar of India’s Act East policy and a very important partner for India in the ASEAN.
He sought Vietnam’s cooperation to maintain the upward momentum in the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two nations and to secure peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.
During his talks with Cuban President, Mr. Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, the Vice President pointed out that India and Cuba were founding members of the Non-Alignment Movement (NAM) and that the two countries must continue to advocate the NAM principles such as the sovereign equality of all nations, unity of developing countries, South-South cooperation and development through inclusive growth.
The Vice President congratulated Cuba on the successful conduct of elections. Vice president was also appreciative of Cuba's reform process and the constitutional changes to strengthen democracy.
He also expressed his happiness at the progress across different spheres including inauguration of the new PANCHKARMA center in Havana and the operationalization of the fertilizer plant in Cienfuegos He expressed his delight that Cuba was utilizing India’s offer of ITEC scholarships to the maximum. He also appreciated the remarkable strides made by Cuba in the field of biotechnology and pharma. “India too has made great strides in the health sector, particularly in the generic medicines. We may look for avenues of cooperation in this field”, he said.
He thanked Cuba for its support to the Indian position on Jammu and Kashmir at the UNHRC meeting in Geneva last month.
He also expressed his gratitude to Cuba for full-fledged participation in the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. “We appreciate the launch of the commemorative postal stamps by Coreos de Cuba and the planting of 150 trees at the Botanical Garden of Havana (Cuba)”, he added.
Shri Naidu also congratulated the President on the grand celebrations of the 500th anniversary of the iconic capital of Cuba, Havana.
The Vice President also met with President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , Nicolás Maduro Moros.
Shri Naidu congratulated Venezuela on their successful tenure as NAM Chair.
Expressing his happiness at the close and cordial relations that India and Venezuela have enjoyed, the Vice President said that 2019 marked the 60th Anniversary of establishing bilateral diplomatic ties, coinciding with the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Referring to India’s efforts to boost to South-South cooperation by forging constructive development partnerships with many countries across the globe, especially in the field of capacity building, the Vice President said that Venezuela had been an active partner in our ITEC program, with more than 200 Venezuelan professionals being trained in India in the last two decades.
Shri Naidu expressed his gratitude to Venezuela for being supportive of Indian candidatures in elections to multilateral organizations and congratulated the nation for its recent victory in the UNHRC elections, with India’s support. He also sought Venezuela’s support to India’s candidature for the UNSC non-permanent seat for the term of 2021-22.
The Vice President also had fruitful interactions with the Prime Ministers of Nepal and Bangladesh on a wide range of issues, along the sidelines of the NAM Summit.