I am leaving today for Moscow to attend the 14th India-RussianAnnual Summit at the invitation of President Vladimir Putin. Thereafter, I willtravel to Beijing for an official visit to China at the invitation of PremierLi Keqiang.
The Annual Summit with Russia, which has been held since 2000, is an importantfeature of our special and privileged strategic partnership. The scope of ourrelationship with Russia is unique, encompassing strong and growing cooperationin areas such as defence, nuclear energy, science and technology, hydrocarbons,trade and investment, and people-to-people exchanges. I will convey toPresident Putin the importance we attach to our relations with Russia, and Iwill use this visit to strengthen our partnership in every possible way.
India and Russia have always had a convergence of views on global andregional issues, and we value Russia’s perspective on internationaldevelopments of mutual interest. I look forward to exchanging views withPresident Putin on a broad range of international developments, including theconflict and turbulence in West Asia as also closer to India, particularly inAfghanistan. I will convey to President Putin our interest in deepening ourconsultations and coordination on international issues.
The Moscow State Institute of International Relations has decided toconfer upon me an Honorary Doctorate during my visit. I am honoured at thisgesture, which is also testimony to the relations between our two countries.
My next destination, Beijing, will afford me the opportunity to continuediscussions with the new leadership of China that took over earlier this yearand return the visit of Premier Li to India in May on his first overseas visitas the head of the new Chinese government. China is our largest neighbour andone of our top trading partners. In my last 9 years in office as PrimeMinister, I have worked closely with Chinese leaders to establish a Strategicand Cooperative Partnership and put in place comprehensive mechanisms forcooperation and dialogue and to address bilateral issues between our two countries.Together, we have reached important consensus on maintaining peace andtranquillity on the border and made preliminary progress towards settlement ofthe India-China Boundary Question.
As the world’s two most populous nations and largest emerging economies,India and China today have a growing congruence of regional, global andeconomic interests, driven by our respective developmental aspirations andshaped by the evolving strategic environment. Peaceful, friendly andcooperative relations between India and China have provided conditions for bothour countries and the wider region to grow with stability. During my visit, Iwill discuss with my Chinese interlocutors ways and means to consolidate ourcommon strategic interests.
The list of areas of our bilateral cooperation is impressive - trade,investment, infrastructure, trans-border rivers, energy, agriculture, science& technology, youth and people-to-people engagement and many more. We areconstantly exploring new ways, like sub-regional connectivity, to impartdynamism to our cooperation. We hope to take forward our engagement in many ofthese areas during my visit.
India and China have historical issues and there are areas of concern.The two governments are addressing them with sincerity and maturity, withoutletting them affect the overall atmosphere of friendship and cooperation. Iwill be discussing some of these issues as part of strategic communicationbetween leaders with a forward-looking and problem-solving approach.
I will also be sharing my thoughts on India-China dynamics in the newera with the future leaders of China through an address at the Central PartySchool in Beijing.
I am confident that my visit will strengthen our relations with two ofour most important partners and create new strategic opportunities for India’sgrowth, prosperity and development in a stable external environment.