New York: Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a series of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the 74th United Nations General Assembly here, including with his counterparts from Armenia Nikol Pashinyan and New Zealand Jacinda Ardern.
In his meeting with the Armenia PM on Wednesday, Modi stressed on the need to considerably enhance the volume of bilateral trade and investment. He expressed interest of Indian companies to explore opportunities in IT, agro-processing, pharmaceuticals, tourism and other sectors of Armenia, said a Ministry of External Affairs statement. The prime minister sought Armenia's support for concluding an expeditious trading arrangement between India and the Eurasian Economic Union (EaEU) of which Armenia is a member. India and the EaEu are set to start negotiations on this soon.
During the meeting, both sides reviewed the bilateral relations between the two countries and expressed satisfaction at their steady growth. External Affairs Minister Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted, "PM @narendramodi met with Armenian PM @NikolPashinyan. Had a fruitful discussion on deepening the age-old relationship between the two countries." Modi thanked Pashinyan for Armenia's consistent support for India's candidature for the permanent membership of an expanded UN Security Council.
Recalling the historical linkages, Modi and Pashinyan highly valued the goodwill existing between the two peoples which provides a solid basis for their bilateral cooperation. About 3,000 Indian students study in Armenia. Also, a large number of Armenian candidates benefit from training programmes conducted by India under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme.
Pashinyan briefed Modi on the new initiatives of openness of his government and in that context invited Indian investments in Armenia. Referring to popularity of Indian culture, films, music and yoga, he called for greater cultural and humanitarian cooperation. The Armenian PM invited Modi to visit Armenia and the invitation was accepted with gratitude, the MEA statement said.
Speaking to reporters at a briefing, the MEA spokesperson said PM Modi also met New Zealand Prime Minister Ardern and discussed bilateral ties. Modi's fourth bilateral of the day was with President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid. Modi had a meeting with his counterpart from Belgium Charles Michel earlier in the day. They agreed to intensify efforts on early conclusion of negotiations on the bilateral investment and trade agreement and enhance closer cooperation on counter-terrorism, multilateral institutions and migration and mobility.