PM Modi combines Portugal, Netherlands to US visit
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Portugal on June 24 before his trip to the US on June 26 and is expected to be on a whirlwind tour to the Netherlands on June 27.
Announcing Modi's tightly packed schedule, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said the Prime Minister would hold talks with Antonio Costa, the Portugal Prime Minister of Indian origin, in Lisbon before flying to the US where he would meet President Donald Trump.
On his way back, Modi will visit The Netherlands for talks with Prime Minister Mark Rutte in The Hague, besides calling on the king of The Netherlands Willem Alexander.
Baglay said Modi's visit to the US has "its own significance because it will be the first visit of the Prime Minister to engage with the new leader, with the new President after the elections last year" in the United States.
"All areas of bilateral cooperation and also concerning with the region, the global situation, security, terrorism, stability will be discussed. We look forward to this particular visit and discussion between the Prime Minister and President Trump providing not only further impetus but further direction to this relationship."
He said the visit would give this relationship "a new strength, a new direction, new priorities and also consolidating the gains that have been achieved over the past several years".
Asked if the Prime Minister was likely to visit any other American city, the spokesman said the government looked at the possibility of a trip to another city but the schedule appeared too tight.
"As of now Washington DC is the primary place which the Prime Minister will visit. However, I might say that the programme is still evolving," he said, adding Modi would interact with business leaders and with the Indian community in the United States.
In Portugal, Modi's visit would see the two countries strengthening their "economic, scientific and cultural ties and we expect to finalise and sign documents essentially which are in the nature of memoranda of understanding", Baglay said.
He said India and Portugal enjoyed good ties and the relationship got a new momentum when Prime Minister Costa visited India in January when he was the chief guest at the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas in Goa. Costa is of Goan descent and has struck up a personal friendship with Modi. The Portuguese Prime Minister even gifted Modi a football jersey signed by Christiano Ronaldo.
"During the forthcoming visit of the Prime Minister Modi to Portugal, we look forward to continue that momentum. We look forward to a useful, productive and successful visit of the Prime Minister Modi to Portugal," Baglay said.
Modi's visit to The Netherlands comes as the two countries celebrate 70 years of their diplomatic ties. Netherlands Foreign Minister Bert Koenders visited India in May in preparation for the Prime Minister's visit.
"Modi will meet Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and will hold official talks," the spokesman said, adding economic relations form the core of India's ties with The Netherlands, which is the leading foreign investor in India.
"A large number of Dutch companies are active in India. A significant number of Indian companies are based in The Netherlands, so we look forward to boosting economic corporation and relations, bilateral trade and relations, and also cooperation in other areas too," Baglay said.