Russia, China visits would create new strategic opportunities for India's growth: PM

New Delhi, Oct 20 (ANI): Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Sunday said his visits to Russia and China would create new strategic opportunities for India's growth, prosperity and development in a stable and external environment.

In a statement prior to his departure on a two-nation five day official visit to Russia and China, Dr. Singh said: "I am confident that my visit will strengthen our relations with two of our most important partners and create new strategic opportunities for India's growth, prosperity and development in a stable external environment,"

Dr. Singh, who will attend the 14th India-Russian Annual Summit in Russia, said: "The annual summit with Russia is an important feature of special and privileged strategic partnership between both the countries."

"The annual summit with Russia, which has been held since 2000, is an important feature of our special and privileged strategic partnership. The scope of our relationship with Russia is unique, encompassing strong and growing cooperation in areas such as defence, nuclear energy, science and technology, hydrocarbons, trade and investment, and people-to-people exchanges," he said.

"I will convey to President Putin the importance we attach to our relations with Russia, and I will use this visit to strengthen our partnership in every possible way," he added.

He further said that India and Russia have always had a convergence of views on global and regional issues, and we value Russia's perspective on international developments of mutual interest.

"I look forward to exchanging views with President Putin on a broad range of international developments, including the conflict and turbulence in West Asia as also closer to India, particularly in Afghanistan. I will convey to President Putin our interest in deepening our consultations and coordination on international issues," he added.

He further informed that the Moscow State Institute of International Relations has decided to confer upon him an Honorary Doctorate during his visit.

"I am honoured at this gesture, which is also testimony to the relations between our two countries," he added.

On his visit to China, Dr. Singh said: "My next destination, Beijing, will afford me the opportunity to continue discussions with the new leadership of China that took over earlier this year and return the visit of Premier Li to India in May on his first overseas visit as the head of the new Chinese government."

"China is our largest neighbour and one of our top trading partners. In my last nine years in office as Prime Minister, I have worked closely with Chinese leaders to establish a strategic and cooperative partnership and put in place comprehensive mechanisms for cooperation and dialogue and to address bilateral issues between our two countries. Together, we have reached important consensus on maintaining peace and tranquility on the border and made preliminary progress towards settlement of the India-China Boundary Question," he said.

"As the world's two most populous nations and largest emerging economies, India and China today have a growing congruence of regional, global and economic interests, driven by our respective developmental aspirations and shaped by the evolving strategic environment. Peaceful, friendly and cooperative relations between India and China have provided conditions for both our countries and the wider region to grow with stability. During my visit, I will discuss with my Chinese interlocutors ways and means to consolidate our common strategic interests," he added.

He further said that the list of areas of bilateral cooperation is impressive - trade, investment, infrastructure, trans-border rivers, energy, agriculture, science and technology, youth and people-to-people engagement and many more.

"We are constantly exploring new ways, like sub-regional connectivity, to impart dynamism to our cooperation. We hope to take forward our engagement in many of these areas during my visit," he added.

Emphasizing that India and China have historical issues and there are areas of concern, Dr. Singh said: "The two governments are addressing them with sincerity and maturity, without letting them affect the overall atmosphere of friendship and cooperation. I will be discussing some of these issues as part of strategic communication between leaders with a forward-looking and problem-solving approach."

"I will also be sharing my thoughts on India-China dynamics in the new era with the future leaders of China through an address at the Central Party School in Beijing," he said. (ANI)


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