Expressing confidence in India’s global role Portugal Foreign minister João Gomes Cravinho has said that “with India, we–Portugal, Europe, that we have a partner which we can strategically trust” and both sides “need to do lot more together”. The comments come even as European Union, and its members state deepen engagement with India, with high level visits, including the upcoming visit of PM to the continent next week. Important to remember, the idea of starting a India-EU Summit was mooted for the first time by Portugal when the current UNSG Antonio Guterres was the Portuguese Prime Minister.
The visiting foreign minister was critical of Russia and China both, especially pointing to Bejing’s support for Moscow amid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Speaking to our Principal Diplomatic Correspondent Sidhant Sibal exclusively during Delhi visit, FM Cravinho said,”. We have been disappointed to hear China produce the false narrative produced by Russia about somehow Russia’s invasion of Ukraine being the fault of NATO, this has been very disappointing”. On New Delhi’s engagement with Moscow, FM pointed that while “Russia is not in listening mode” and if it opts for negotiation amid the ongoing invasion “India will be positive influence on Russia”. PM Modi has spoken to both Russian and Ukrainian President and called for direct talks between the 2 countries to diffuse the crisis.
Portuguese PM Antonio Costa visited India in January 2017 while PM Modi visited Portugal the same year. PM Costa is the first Indian-origin Head of Government in the Western world. In December 2019, PM Costa visited India to attend a meeting of the Organizing Committee overseeing the 2-year global commemorations of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi set up by PM Modi.
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