The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind received His Excellency Mr Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the President of the Portuguese Republic at Rashtrapati Bhavan today.
Welcoming 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 our culture, language and kinship.
The President said that we were delighted to receive Prime Minister Antonio Costa few months ago for the Mahatma Gandhi birth anniversary celebrations meeting. He thanked Portugal for extending its support for the commemoration of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary.
The President said that India-Portugal bilateral agenda has expanded several-folds. The two countries are collaborating in science and technology, defence, education, innovation and start-up, water and environment among other things.
The President said that terrorism is grave threat for the entire world. We should deepen our cooperation further to defeat and destroy this global menace. He also said that climate change is a pressing global challenge today. 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, start-ups, Intellectual Property Rights, aerospace, nano-biotechnology, audio visual co-production, yoga, diplomatic training, scientific research and public-policy.
Later the President hosted a banquet in honour of President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa of the Portuguese Republic. Speaking on the occasion, the President said that our global partnership has added depth to our multilateral engagement and to our 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 we can amplify our developmental partnerships in Africa and elsewhere. He recalled that the first India-EU Summit was initiated under the Portuguese Presidency. He said that when Portugal assumes the Presidency of the European Union next year, we once again look forward to deepening our engagement with the EU.