New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Italian counterpart Giorgia Meloni agreed on the potential for defence equipment co-development and co-production in India with Modi inviting Italian defence companies to actively participate under the Make in India initiative.
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the steady deepening of defence cooperation between the two countries in the last two years, underscoring the need to further enhance mutual engagement in this field through the conclusion of an MoU on defence cooperation. On her first official visit to India, Meloni met Prime Minister Modi and also President Droupadi Murmu.
The two leaders held talks in a cordial atmosphere and exchanged views on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest. They acknowledged that the visit of Prime Minister Meloni is taking place at a significant time, as the two countries celebrate the 75th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations, according to a joint India-Italy statement. They welcomed the high degree of convergence in the political, economic and strategic interests of the two countries that provides an enduring basis for a long-term relationship.
Recalling their earlier meeting in Bali on the margins of the G20 Summit in Indonesia, they re-affirmed their commitment to further consolidate and strengthen the bilateral relationship between India and Italy in the years ahead. The Action Plan 2020-24 set an ambitious agenda for an enhanced Partnership with Italy, to whose full implementation both countries remain committed. The two leaders appreciated the strong bilateral economic engagement and expressed their intention to further advance cooperation, including in the framework of the respective Make in India and Made in Italy frameworks, according to the statement.
The two PMs underscored the importance of intensifying their cooperation, in particular in technology, space, energy security and transition, infrastructure, pharmaceuticals, food processing, education, and research and development. In this context, they also highlighted the positive impacts expected from the new MoU on industrial property rights.
The two leaders noted with satisfaction the continued contacts, including at the highest level and during the pandemic and the fruitful collaboration within the G20, in particular over the course of their respective Presidencies.
According to the statement, they reiterated the importance of promoting a cooperative system of international ocean and sea governance and of maintaining the rules-based maritime order, based on international law, in particular United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).