Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Mexico city late Wednesday on the last leg of an overseas tour that also saw him visit Afghanistan, Qatar, Switzerland and the United States. It has been billed as a five-day ( 4-8 June), five-country visit by the Indian external affairs ministry. While Afghanistan and the US were repeat visits, the stops in Qatar, Switzerland and Mexico were firsts for the prime minister. In the case of the US, it was Modi’s fourth visit in less than two years. The highlight of the current visit was Modi’s address to the US Congress on Wednesday.
A look at the key takeaways from Modi’s visit to the five nations:
1. Backing for India for entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group: India won crucial support from Switzerland, the US and Mexico for its application to join the exclusive Nuclear Suppliers Group that controls the global trade in nuclear commerce. Garnering support for India’s candidacy has been a major theme of Modi’s current tour of five nations.
2. Support for India’s stance on terrorism: Both in Qatar and the US, there were strong statements against terrorism. India and Qatar expressed “strong condemnation” of international terrorism, highlighted the need to isolate the sponsors and supporters of the menace and agreed on “urgent action against all such entities, which support terrorism and use it as an instrument of policy.” In the US, President Barack Obama and Modi condemned “the recent terrorist incidents from Paris to Pathankot, from Brussels to Kabul” and “resolved to redouble their efforts, bilaterally and with other like-minded countries, to bring to justice the perpetrators of terrorism anywhere in the world and the infrastructure that supports them,” a joint statement said. The two countries also pledged to work together to combat terrorist threats from extremist groups such as Al Qaeda, Da’esh/ISIL (Islamic State), the Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba, besides Indian gangster Dawood Ibrahim and his group and their affiliates, “including through deepened collaboration on UN terrorist designations.”
3. Boost for Make in India: Describing India “as a major defence partner” with access to licence-free range of dual-use technologies, the US said it would support the Indian initiative to develop defence industries through the export of goods and technologies consistent with US law.
4. Automatic exchange of information to check unaccounted illicit wealth: India and Switzerland agreed to expedite the sharing of information that seeks to end an era of banking secrecy where eventually all financial information, including taxpayers’ bank balance, dividends, interest income and sales proceeds used to calculate capital gains tax, will be shared between governments. This is expected to help the Indian government tap illicit funds parked in places like Switzerland.
5. Financial assistance for India’s clean energy initiative:India and the US announced the creation of a $20 million US-India Clean Energy Finance (USICEF) initiative, equally supported by both, which is expected to mobilize up to $400 million to provide clean and renewable electricity to up to 1 million households by 2020.
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