New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind received the President of the Republic of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, at Rashtrapati Bhavan yesterday.
Welcoming the Portuguese President on his first State Visit to India, the President said that Portugal-India relations are very special. India and Portugal enjoy 500 years of shared history. The two countries are closely tied together through Goa and Mumbai, through culture, language, and kinship.
President Kovind said he was delighted to receive Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa a few months ago for the Mahatma Gandhi birth anniversary celebrations meeting, and thanked Portugal for extending its support for the commemoration of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary.
President Kovind said the India-Portugal bilateral agenda has expanded several-fold. The two countries are collaborating in science and technology, defence, education, innovation and startups, water, and environment among other things.
Kovind said terrorism is a grave threat for the entire world, and both countries should deepen cooperation further to defeat and destroy this global menace. He also said that climate change is a pressing global challenge today, and that India looks forward to Portugal joining the International Solar Alliance in the near future.
The two Presidents welcomed the exchange of 14 agreements and understandings between India and Portugal in the fields of maritime heritage, maritime transport and port development, migration and mobility, startups, intellectual property rights, aerospace, nano-biotechnology, audio visual co-production, yoga, diplomatic training, scientific research, and public policy.
Later, President Kovind hosted a banquet in honour of President Rebelo de Sousa and, speaking on the occasion, said that the countries’ global partnership has added depth to the multilateral engagement and to the common desire to fashion a multi-polar world-order.
India looks forward to becoming an Associate Observer of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries so that the country can amplify developmental partnerships in Africa and elsewhere, said Kovind, recalling that the first India-EU Summit was initiated under the Portuguese Presidency. Kovind said that when Portugal assumes the Presidency of the European Union next year, India once again looks forward to deepening its engagement with the EU.