Vice President Hamid Ansari on Monday left for Algeria after concluding his three-day visit to Hungary during which he interacted with the top leadership of the country and signed two bilateral agreements. During Ansari’s discussions with Hungary’s President Janos Ader, Prime Minister Viktor Orban and other top leaders, both the countries favoured elimination of the menace of terrorism and sought a strong global legal framework and sustained global action to deal with the threat.
Ansari expressed appreciation for the support extended by Hungary to India’s membership of the Missile Technology Control Regime and for entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group. He said relations between India and Hungary are friendly, multi-faceted and have a cultural resonance besides both the countries being thriving democracies and dynamic economies.
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The one MoU — in the field of water management — was signed on India’s behalf by Indian Ambassador to Hungary Rahul Chabra and the other MoU — between Indian Council for World Affairs and Institute of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary — was signed by Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs Sujata Mehta.
The Hungarian Prime Minister said his country has set up a working group on technology to explore the possibilities of bilateral cooperation on various issues, including defence production for mutual benefits. He recalled contribution of India’s then envoy to Hungary M A Rahman, who played a key role in Hungary’s historic 1956 uprising, saying former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru too had supported Hungarian people’s struggle.
The Vice President’s visit to Hungary came over two decades after then President Shankar Dayal Sharma had visited the central European country in 1993. Ansari also visited Balatonfureden, a central Hungarian city where Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore had spent some days in 1926 to recuperate from his heart ailments and paid floral tribute to him.
During the two-day visit to Algeria, Ansari is expected to raise the issue of cross-border terrorism affecting India and a host of other bilateral issues. Mehta said the issue of cross-border terrorism emanating from across India’s border will be raised during bilateral meetings the Vice President will have with Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal and other top leadership. She said terrorism is not new for Algeria and it has fought a very difficult terror group in the recent past.
“There will be meeting of minds to fight terrorism with all his interlocutors and counterparts,” she said. Algerian President Bouteflika was the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations in 2001.
Bilateral trade between India and Algeria stood at USD 1.5 billion per annum, majority of which is related to oil and oil products imported by India.