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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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PM Narendra Modi Urges Youth to Stay Away From Drug Addiction as it Helps Anti-national Forces

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said strict compliance of the law had been ensured to break the drug trade and the smuggling network in Haryana

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Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi (Wikimedia Commons)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday urged youth to stay away from drug addiction, saying that it not only adversely affected the mind and body but also helps anti-national forces.

The Prime Minister was speaking through video-conferencing at the launch of ‘Drug Free India’ campaign organized by the Art of Living at Guru Jambeshwar University in Haryana’s Hisar town.

Modi said those who took drugs were unintentionally supporting anti-social elements.

“Drug traders harm the youth power and weaken the economic strength of the country. The Government of India has formed a National Action Plan to prevent cross-border drug trade and break the backbone of drugs business. It was implemented in 2018,” he said.

He said that a detailed action plan till 2025 has been prepared against drug addiction which includes an awareness generation campaign among the people, its prevention, and special campaigns for sensitive sections of the society.

Modi. BJP
Drug addiction helps anti-national forces: Modi. VOA

The Prime Minister also appealed to the people to adopt a sensitive attitude towards the victims of drugs by not looking at them as criminals and show these misguided youths the right path by connecting them to the mainstream society.

“Like other social evils, we would get this evil of drug addiction eliminated from society. The use of technology can play an important role in this campaign. Social organizations and community welfare organizations are playing a very important role in this direction,” he added.

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Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said strict compliance of the law had been ensured to break the drug trade and the smuggling network in Haryana.

“The state government created a Special Task Force in January 2018 through which many drug dealers have been caught and large quantities of drugs have been seized,” he said. (IANS)