Visit to Croatia by MoS General (Retd.) V.K.Singh
Minister of State for External Affairs, General (Retd.) V.K. Singh, visited Croatia between 13-14 April, 2016, a first by an Asian leader after the assumption of charge of the new Croatian government in Jan-end 2016. This visit sent out a strong political message of India’s commitment to deepen the bilateral relationship for mutual benefit.
Apart from detailed discussions with his counterpart, Dr Zdravka Busic in the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, he called on the Speaker of the unicameral Parliament as well as the Ministers of Foreign and European Affairs, Defence and Economy.
He also interacted with a cross-section of other dignitaries, including two past Croatian Presidents, MP representing the Roma community, President of the Croatian National Bank, local Directors of Indian companies that have invested in Croatia, media, academics, India-oriented organisations as well as the Indian diaspora.
Additionally, MoS V.K.Singh had the opportunity to lay wreaths on the monuments of Marshal Josip Tito, and Franjo Tudjman, the first President of Independent Croatia after the ‘Homeland War,’ at their birth places. He also interacted with the local Mayors of these municipalities.
During his visit, the discussions covered the whole gamut of bilateral, regional and global issues. At the bilateral level, both sides expressed determination to work towards intensification of the relationship, with particular focus on the economic, defence, education, and higher technology sectors, through creative mechanisms. The growing interest in Yoga, Ayurveda and Indian philosophy was noted, which could be leveraged for strengthening people-to-people contacts. At the regional level, discussions centered on the evolving geo-political situation in the two regions. At the global level, views were exchanged on terrorism, UN reforms and peace keeping.
This visit to Croatia is expected to provide real momentum to the overall bilateral relationship for the mutual advantage of the peoples of the two countries.

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Venkkat Prannit Nissankara
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