Indian, Austrian leaders call for dialogue and diplomacy

Indian, Austrian leaders call for dialogue and diplomacy

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi spending 2 days in Austria after visit to Moscow

By Timo Kirez

GENEVA (AA) - In a joint statement, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer on Wednesday called for greater efforts for dialogue and diplomacy.

The joint statement followed a meeting between the two heads of government in Vienna.

Modi arrived in Austria from a visit to Moscow for a two-day visit. The aim of the meeting is to further deepen relations between the two countries, as both politicians explained.

Modi's visit also marks the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Austria and India in 1949. Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru visited Austria in 1955, followed by his daughter and successor Indira Gandhi in 1983.

"I had a very fruitful conversation with Chancellor Nehammer today. We identified new opportunities to further strengthen mutual cooperation. We decided to give a strategic direction to the relationship," Modi said.

On world conflicts, Modi said: "Chancellor Nehammer and I spoke at length about all the ongoing disputes in the world, be it the conflict in Ukraine or the situation in West Asia. I have also said earlier that this is not the time for war."

Modi also commented on possible reforms of international organizations: "We agree to reform the United Nations and other international organizations to make them contemporary and effective."

Nehammer said: "Last night and this morning we held very intensive talks on the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. For me as federal chancellor of Austria, it is particularly important to get to know and understand India's assessment and to familiarize India with European concerns and worries."

"In addition, the Middle East conflict was a major topic and, alongside this challenging geopolitical situation, we also highlighted the positive aspects of our cooperation," he added.

The agenda of Modi and Nehammer also includes an India-Austria Business Meeting on Wednesday where around 40 companies from both countries will come together to explore new economic prospects and strengthen bilateral trade ties.

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