New Delhi: The eighth session of the India-Italy Foreign Office Consultations were held on Monday in Rome where both sides reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations.
The Indian delegation was led by Reenat Sandhu, Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs and the Italian delegation was led by Luca Sabbatucci, Director General for Global Affairs in Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The last FOC was held in 2019 in New Delhi.
Taking to Twitter, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, "8th India-Italy FOC held in Rome on 14 Feb.Led by Secy West @reenat_sandhu & DG Luca Sabbatucci @ItalyMFA_int, the two sides discussed strengthening cooperation in energy transition, trade & investment, health, S&T, start ups & innovation, infrastructure and the Indo-Pacific." They reviewed their cooperation in the political, trade & economic, defence, science & technology, energy, health, consular and cultural spheres. Furthermore, they expressed satisfaction at the renewed momentum in bilateral relations thanks to regular high-level exchanges and shared commitment of both sides to further intensify cooperation in a wide range of areas.
Moreover, they took stock of the progress in implementation of the Plan of Action agreed during the virtual summit in November 2020 and welcomed the Strategic Partnership on Energy Transition launched by the two Prime Ministers in October 2021 which offers fresh opportunities for deepening our multi-faceted ties.
The two sides also discussed India-EU relations and agreed on the need to commence negotiations on the India-EU Free Trade and Investment Agreements at the earliest. India welcomed Italy's interest in the implementation of the EU's Indo-Pacific guidelines and the India-EU connectivity partnership.
Discussions also covered regional and global issues of mutual interest, including multilateral cooperation at various international fora. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to enhancing consultation and cooperation bilaterally and in the regional and multilateral contexts.
Both sides agreed to hold the next consultations at a mutually convenient date in New Delhi.