Vice-Prez Hamid Ansari holds bilateral talks with Venezuelan Prez
New Delhi: Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari on Saturday held bilateral talks with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on issues of mutual interests on the sidelines of the 17th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit.
Ansari, who is leading the Indian delegation at NAM, met Maduro in the absence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his first official engagement at the Summit. Modi is the second Indian PM to give the Cold War-era bloc's summit a miss after Charan Singh in year 1979.
Ansari was accompanied by Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar and Secretary West Sujata Mehta in his meet with Maduro.
It may be mentioned that Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez had visited India, less than a month ago, to personally hand over an invitation to India's participation in the 17th NAM Summit.
She had held talks with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to explore bond strengthening opportunities in a range of areas including trade, investment and hydrocarbons sector.
The countries had also agreed to finalise agreement on double tax avoidance and a number of other key pacts. The two nations had also agreed to move ahead for an early finalisation of a number of agreements in different areas, including Extradition Treaty, Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTAA), Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) on Criminal Matters and Air Services Agreement.