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Sushma urges for early release of 6 Indian seamen from Egypt

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

New Delhi: Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, on her visit to Egypt, urged her counterpart Sameh Hassan Shoukry for the early release of six Indian seamen detained in the country since February 2014.

368001-sushma-3Sushma, who held talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi on Monday, thanked Foreign Minister Shoukry for speeding up the process for transferring the two Indian prisoners serving life terms in Egyptian jails, said an official statement.

Sushma, who is visiting Egypt at the invitation of Shoukry, also held talks with Nabil El-Araby, Secretary General of League of Arab States on Monday. She met with the representatives of the Indian Community in Egypt on Sunday.

President Sisi extended a warm welcome and highlighted the importance that he attaches to Egypt-India relations and his desire to take the relations to a higher level.

Sushma Swaraj conveyed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s greetings and congratulated him on the completion of the New Suez Canal. She outlined the preparations for deepening and expanding bilateral cooperation in all areas. She also extended her condolences on the passing away of his mother.

President Sisi mentioned that he was very impressed by the recent economic developments and scientific and technological achievements in India, which he sees as a model for all developing countries. He also hoped for closer cooperation in fighting terrorism and promoting security cooperation and defence R&D and joint production, said the statement.

Sushma held extensive bilateral talks with Shoukry, who also hosted lunch in her honour. They noted that our shared values and experiences form a strong foundation to further expand cooperation on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues. They discussed ways to develop an agenda to deepen and expand cooperation to take our relations to a higher level.

Shoukry accepted Sushma’s invitation to visit New Delhi to co-chair the seventh meeting of India-Egypt Joint Commission in January 2016 and also hold Foreign Office Consultations at secretary level in November 2015. Sushma renewed the invitation to him to participate in the India-Africa Forum Summit-III in October 2015 in India.

Both sides inked two agreements, including an MoU on Cooperation in the field of Tourism and an MoU between the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of India and the National Research Center (NRC) of Egypt for Scientific and Technical Cooperation. It was also agreed that the Agreement on Maritime Transport, the text of which had been finalised and would be signed soon.

Sushma and Secretary-General of League of Arab States El-Araby reviewed India-Arab relations as well as regional issues.

Both sides noted that India’s traditionally close links with the Arab world have been strengthened further in recent years. They welcomed the success of special events such as the India-Arab Cultural Festival, India-Arab Media Symposium and India-Arab Partnership Conference. They agreed that the First Senior Officials Meeting of the India-Arab Cooperation Forum held in New Delhi and the first India-Arab Ministerial Conference to be held in Manama later this year would give further momentum to our expanding relations, said the statement.

Sushma Swaraj is to deliver a lecture on ‘India’s relations with Egypt and the region’ at the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs on Tuesday, which will be attended by strategic thinkers, academics, diplomats, intelligentsia and media. She will also interact with a number of Egyptian Ministers and policy makers.

With inputs from IANS

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Waves of black as Modi visits Chennai

Tamil Nadu has been in turmoil since the six-week period for setting up the Board expired, with opposition parties and a host of fringe Tamil groups attacking the Centre

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi (FILE PHOTO)

Black flags and balloons and activists in black shirts and trousers greeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he paid a whirlwind visit to Chennai with helicopter as the chosen mode of transport in the wake of statewide agitation demanding constitution of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB).

Protests were also held with black flags and placards throughout Tamil Nadu in cities like Tiruchi, Thanjavur, Coimbatore and Tuticorin against the Prime Minister’s brief visit to the state and the Centre’s failure to constitute the CMB despite a Supreme Court order. Black flags were hoisted on homes and business establishments across the state.

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi stressed on the importance of service to others in his last Mann Ki Baat edition for 2017.
Narendra Modi welcomed with black flags in chennai.

In a bid to avoid protesters, Modi, who arrived here by a special aircraft in the morning, chose a helicopter to reach Tiruvidanthai, in neighbouring Kanchipuram district where he opened the 10th DefExpo organised by the Defence Ministry. From there he took another chopper to come to IIT Madras, in the heart of the city. From there, he took a one-kilometre ride by car to the neighbouring Adyar Cancer Institute for an event.

The Prime Minister walked a few steps from the helicopter to the car that ferried him to the Cancer Institute. As he did so, he encountered some 30 students from IIT Madras who stood silently but held posters demanding a Cauvery Management Board as ordered by the Supreme Court — an issue which has whipped up emotions in Tamil Nadu. Modi then left by helicopter to the airport before returning to Delhi.

Also Read: Modi is anti-Dalit, will defeat BJP in 2019: Rahul Gandhi

#Go back Modi trended on top as netizens took to the cyberspace to register their protest against the Central government’s failure to set up the CMB as directed by the Supreme Court to ensure proper sharing of Cauvery waters between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and other states.

DMK leader M.K. Stalin, who was on a padayatra of the Cauvery delta areas, wore black shirt and trousers as he protested along with state Congress President Thirunavukkarasar and CPI-M state unit chief Mutharasan. “The Prime Minister may be flying in the air today but he has to come down when the elections come,” he said taking a dig at Modi.

A black flag was hoisted at DMK chief M. Karunanidhi’s residence. The ailing leader wore a black shirt. DMK MP Tiruchi Siva and leaders of DMK allies wore black dress and marched on the road near the Chennai airport.

In the morning outside the Chennai airport, activists of the Federation for protection of Tamil Art and Culture, led by noted film director Bharatiraja and other film personalities like Amir, Gautaman and Vetrimaran protested against Modi’s visit. They were arrested.

will also hold a meeting there with the Indian community. Wikimedia Commons
Cauvery River Dispute is going on for a while now. Wikimedia Commons

While MDMK chief Vaiko held a black flag protest in Velachery, Naam Thamizhar Katch convenor Seeman, a film director, was arrested elsewhere. Vaiko called Modi a “coward” for choosing to fly. Political leaders Velmurugan and P. Nedumaran were arrested from Alandur metro station in Chennai for holding black flag protests.

Tamil Nadu has been in turmoil since the six-week period for setting up the Board expired, with opposition parties and a host of fringe Tamil groups attacking the Centre, saying the BJP was interested only in winning the Assembly elections in Karnataka. Even the hugely-popular IPL cricket matches have been shifted out of Chennai to Pune in view of the disturbances on Tuesday. IANS

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