The Delhi-Dublin bonding has acquired a fresh shine, with the two countries minting a new template of partnership built around economic rejuvenation, technology and innovation. Weaving in iconic poets Tagore and Yeats in his address, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has unfurled a new strategic vision of India’s partnership with Ireland and sought the Celtic Tiger’s support for New Delhi’s bid for a permanent seat in UN Security Council and its aspiration to join elite global nuclear export regimes.
Ahead of his visit to the United States, Mr Modi touched down in Dublin for a brief but significant visit on September 23 to reignite the spark in bilateral relationship. This was the first visit by an Indian prime minister in nearly five decades.
The talks between Mr Modi and Ireland’s Prime Minister Taoiseach Enda Kenny focused on strengthening the economic partnership with a strong technology focus. “Our economic partnership can have a strong technology focus – IT, biotechnology & pharma, agricultural and clean energy”, Mr Modi said.
In an important move that will enhance economic engagement, tourism and people-to-people contacts, India and Ireland decided to launch direct air services soon between airlines of the two countries.
The big takeaway from the stopover visit was a concerted effort by the two sides to provide a strategic dimension to their relations as the two leaders discussed a host of international issues, including terrorism, radicalisation, the situation in Europe and Asia.
Support for UNSC seat, NSG
Fast-tracking UNSC reforms figured prominently in discussions. India sought Ireland’s support for its bid for a permanent seat in a reformed Security Council. India also sought support for its entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and other international export control regimes, while emphasising its commitment to nuclear disarmament.
India’s burgeoning energy demand has led the country to pursue the path of sustainable development, with focus on clean energy and renewables. India’s membership into these organiations would deepen our bilateral cooperation and strengthen international non-proliferation efforts, said Mr Modi. Pitching the India story, Mr Modi told his Irish hosts that India can be Ireland’s anchor in Asia. “Mr. Prime Minister, I leave convinced that India and Ireland must invest more to realize the vast potential of this relationship. India was the first country you established diplomatic relations with in Asia. We can now be your anchor in Asia. Similarly, for India, I see Ireland as a vital gateway to Europe and a bridge across the Atlantic.”
Culture and Diaspora
Ireland is home to a 26000-strong Indian diaspora. Mr Modi stressed on the cultural links and spoke about the relationship between Tagore and Yeats, apart from the commonalities in constitutions of the two countries. He also spoke about the memorial for the victims of Kanishka air crash and thanked Ireland for the honour given to the victims.
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