Modi visits Vienna

Modi with Nehammer: bridges, peace, start-ups

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10.07.2024 13:57

During the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chancellor Karl Nehammer and his guest positioned their countries as "bridge builders". They explored ways to initiate a process towards a "fair and lasting peace in Ukraine", Nehammer said after the working meeting. Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen sounded a similar note after a meeting with the guest from India.

Modi, who has been in office for ten years, had landed at Vienna-Schwechat Airport on Tuesday evening from Moscow. He had met ruler Vladimir Putin in Russia. He maintains good personal relations with Putin, but at the same time strives for equidistance from the West.

First trips since re-election
Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, India has been increasingly sourcing cheap oil from Russia, and Modi even described Putin as a "dear friend" on Tuesday. At the same time, he voiced general criticism of armed conflicts. His trips to Russia and Austria are the first since the beginning of his third term as prime minister.

Against solving problems on the battlefield, for a "prosperous Ukraine"
During the joint press statements with Nehammer in Vienna on Wednesday, Modi reiterated what he had said during his visit to Russia: "Problems cannot be solved on the battlefield. Loss of innocent lives is unacceptable." Austria and India offered their support for the dialog between the conflicting parties.

Modi (right) signs Nehammer's guest book at the Chancellery. (Bild: APA/ROLAND SCHLAGER)
Modi (right) signs Nehammer's guest book at the Chancellery.

Nehammer also offered Austria "as part of the EU, but not of a military alliance" as a partner and place of dialog to end the war in Ukraine. He wanted a "free and prosperous Ukraine", said the Chancellor.

Start-up partnership and ten-year roadmap
The second topic discussed by the heads of government was bilateral cooperation in business and science, which is to be intensified. Modi announced that India and Austria were entering into a start-up partnership. In addition, a ten-year roadmap for joint activities will be drawn up.

On the way from the Chancellery to the Hofburg, a selfie was taken at Heldenplatz. (Bild: APA/ROLAND SCHLAGER)
On the way from the Chancellery to the Hofburg, a selfie was taken at Heldenplatz.

Following their meeting in the Federal Chancellery, Nehammer and Modi went to the Hofburg for an Indo-Austrian business forum. Modi was also scheduled to visit Federal President Van der Bellen in the afternoon.

Van der Bellen: "Ukraine urgently needs peace"
The further expansion of bilateral economic relations and the war in Ukraine were also on the agenda at the Hofburg. "We agreed that Ukraine urgently needs peace and that we will support efforts in this direction," stated Van der Bellen after the meeting with the state guest from India. The Federal President also emphasized that India is needed as a partner in a structurally sustainable transformation towards climate neutrality.

This article has been automatically translated,
read the original article here.

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