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Narendra Modi to visit Ireland, US this week

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Photo: www.india.com

By NewsGram Staff-Writer

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has posted on Facebook that he will be visiting Ireland and the US from September 23-29.

Narendra-Modi6Modi will be will be going to Ireland on September 23 – in the first visit by an Indian prime minister in almost 60 years – and will hold talks with Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny.

“We hope to further develop strong people-to-people and economic ties with Ireland in the years to come. In Ireland, I will also interact with the Indian community,” he wrote.

On September 24, Modi will travel to the US. “This visit seeks to build on the substantial ground covered during my last visit to USA and President (Barack) Obama’s visit to India early this year.”

Noting he was going to the US at “a historic moment when the United Nations is celebrating its 70th anniversary”, he said that in July, he had written to 193 heads of governments outlining India’s vision for the UN agenda and reforms. “I am glad that leaders of several nations wrote back appreciating our vision.”

In New York City, Modi will address the UN Sustainable Development Summit for formal adoption of post-2015 new sustainable development agenda. “Coming from a culture that regards harmony as central to its ethos, I am glad to have an opportunity to address this forum. The new goals are closely aligned with India’s vision for sustainable development and our flagship programs for the same.”

Revealing he will also participate in a summit hosted by President Obama on peacekeeping, he noted that India has been one of the largest contributors to UN peacekeeping forces, with over 180,000 troops – more than from any other country.

“We are proud of our peacekeeping forces spread across the world, ensuring peace in difficult circumstances. I will pay homage to all those brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for peace. And I look forward to sharing my thoughts on how to make peacekeeping more effective,” he wrote.

Modi also said that India will host a summit of G-4 leaders in New York, where the main agenda would be the UNSC reforms and the UN’s 70th anniversary “is an appropriate moment for reform discussions to be accelerated,” as the General Assembly has finally adopted a document that would form the basis of formal discussions on this matter.

He said he will be meeting several world leaders and also hold interactions with leading investors and financial sector firms, including a working dinner where major Fortune-500 companies will be present to deliberate on investment opportunities in India. “We have been interacting with several American business leaders over the last year and the outcomes have been encouraging,” he said.

He also said that he will be visiting the West Coast on September 26-27 and participate in several programs. “It would be after a gap of almost 33 years that an Indian PM would be visiting the west coast – the home of startups, innovation and technology.”

Modi said he will also be part of a Townhall Q&A at the Facebook HQ along with Mark Zuckerberg, and this is an event “you shouldn’t miss”.

“I have already invited you all to share your questions through Facebook or the ‘Narendra Modi Mobile App.’ I will also see some recent technological innovations on the Google (Alphabet) campus and Tesla Motors. I will address a Renewable Energy Roundtable with USDOC and Stanford University.”

He said he is also enthusiastic about the ‘India-US Start-up Konnect’. “India is emerging as a hub of startups in a wide range of areas and we aspire to take this further. We want the world to see our innovation capabilities in the start-up sector. At this event, a group of Indian startups will showcase their innovations and forge partnerships with the vibrant American start-up industry. ”

In San Jose, Modi will interact with the Indian community on September 27. He said: “The Indian diaspora has left no stone unturned in strengthening India-USA ties. We are very proud of the accomplishments of our diaspora that has made immense contributions to both our societies.”

(With inputs from IANS)

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Donald Trump Planning to meet Putin during his Asia tour

Donald Trump's first trip to Asia is the longest international tour.

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US President Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump. wikimedia commns
  • US President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he expected to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during his Asia tour.

“I think it’s expected we’ll meet with Putin, yeah. We want Putin’s help on North Korea, and we’ll be meeting with a lot of different leaders,” Donald Trump told reporters on Air Force One before landing at the Yokota Air Base in Japan, Efe reported.

Putin is scheduled to participate in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Da Nang, Vietnam, which Trump will also attend as part of his long Asia tour.

The North Korean nuclear threat is expected to dominate Donald Trump’s meetings in Japan and the next two stages of his tour, South Korea and China, where he will have a highly anticipated sit-down with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The remainder of the tour will be more focused on economic issues, with Trump scheduled to take part in the APEC meeting in Da Nang and then in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and the East Asia Summit in the Philippines.

Donald Trump’s first trip to Asia is the longest international tour by a US head of state since the one then-President George H.W. Bush embarked on in 1992.

Bush became ill at the end of that trip, famously vomiting on the Japanese prime minister’s lap at a formal dinner before fainting.(IANS)

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PM Narendra Modi: Government bringing Stringent Consumer Protection Law

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Prime Minister Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a speech. IANS

New Delhi, October 26: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the government was in the process of enacting stringent legislation aimed at protecting consumers along with setting up a Consumer Protection Authority (CPA).

“Consumers’ protection is this government’s priority. We are in the process to bring a new law on consumer protection keeping in mind the need of the country and business practices here,” Modi said at an International Conference on Consumer Protection for East, South and South-East Asian Countries.

“We are in the process of forming a Consumer Protection Authority, which will have executive powers, for immediate redressal.”

The rules were being streamlined to solve consumer problems in less time and at less cost, he added.

“The stress is being given on consumer empowerment. Strict provisions are being contemplated against misleading advertisements,” Modi said.

He said India was among the few countries which had enacted a law a year after the UN adopted guidelines on consumer protection in 1986.

The Prime Minister also said the prices of commodities were set to go down and consumer protection for their interest effects due to the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Due to the GST, the competition among companies was going to increase. So prices will go down. It will help consumers from lower middle class and poor sections,” Modi said.

“Earlier, transportation by trucks would take five days but it has come down to just three three days now as checkposts on borders have vanished after the GST. It means transportation cost has gone down. This is going to be transferred to consumers,”

Taking a dig at those opposed to the GST, he said: “Some people may be taking advantage of the lack of awareness. However, the benefits will be transferred (to consumers) in days to come.”

Talking about the conference, Modi said: “It shows how seriously we take the needs of our citizens and how we strive hard to solve their problems”.

“It is the first conference in the region, where everyone is trying in their own ways to save the interest of consumers. However, we have to keep in mind that the world is going towards a single market,” Modi said.(IANS)

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Tillerson’s Visit to India Highlights Strong Emerging Alliance

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson listens to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson listens to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their meeting at the Prime Minister's residence in New Delhi. VOA

The United States pledged its commitment to deepening strategic ties with India as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders in New Delhi during a visit that highlighted their strong emerging alliance.

Combating terrorism and expanding India’s role in helping Afghanistan’s development were key issues discussed by Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and Tillerson, who arrived in the capital city after stops in Kabul and Islamabad.

At a news conference after the talks, Tillerson extended an assurance that “in the fight against terrorism, the United States will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with India. Terrorist safe havens will not be tolerated.”

The top U.S. diplomat visited the region after the Trump administration unveiled a new South Asia strategy calling on India to play a larger role in Afghanistan’s economic stabilization and on Pakistan to take more action against militant groups based in the country.

Indian foreign minister Swaraj said President Donald Trump’s new strategy for the region “can only be successful if Pakistan acts decisively against all terror groups without any discrimination.” New Delhi has long blamed Islamabad for supporting insurgent groups that carry out terror acts in India.

Tillerson, who last week said that he sees India as a key partner in the face of what he considers negative Chinese influence in Asia, reiterated that India could play a wider role in the region. Analysts say Washington’s overtures for closer ties with India are prompted by the need to counter China’s rise.

Tillerson told reporters “the United States supports India’s emergence as a leading power and will continue to contribute to Indian capabilities to provide security throughout the region.” He said Washington was willing to provide New Delhi with advanced technologies for its military modernization.

“We also look forward to further cooperation in the broader Indo Pacific region as we both promote a rules-based approach to commerce and a transparent and sustainable approach to economic development,” he said.(VOA)