Patil seeks new face for Indo-Spanish ties

April 22nd, 2009 - 12:34 pm ICT by ANI  

By Ravinder Singh Robin

Madrid, Apr.22 (ANI): Visiting Indian President Pratibha Devi Singh Patil has expressed hope about the relationship between India and Spain getting a new face.

“We are keen to strengthen our bilateral relations with Spain and I have no doubt that the city of Madrid will play an increasingly larger role, be it in the trade, economic and financial aspects or in the cultural, educational and scientific spheres,” Patil said.

Talking to reporters accompanying the Presient on her week-long visit to Spain and Poland, Nalin Suri, Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs, said the President had conveyed this message to Spanish King Juan Carlos-I and Queen Sofia during her luncheon meeting with them. According to Suri, she said that her visit to Spain symbolized India’s desire to take its relationship with Spain to a higher plane. The Spanish royal couple responded by saying that Spain would do every thing it could to develop and diversify its relations with India.

The Mayor of the Madrid, Alberto Ruiz Gallardon Jimenez, presented President Patil with the Gold Key of Madrid City at a ceremonial function at the City Hall here.

Suri said the fact that the Mayor of Madrid had presented the city’s key to the President should not be seen as just a symbolic gesture, as Madrid is a powerhouse as far as the Spanish economy is concerned.

“You would notice that the mayor identified the areas of cooperation to build stronger relations between the two countries,” he said.

Suri said the fact that both India and Spain are fighting terrorism is important in the context that the Spanish side attaches “as much important as we do to fighting this menace and we have agreed that cooperation in this felid would further strengthen relations.”

He said that emphasis would be given to promoting greater people-to-people contact between the two countries as more business delegations are exploring opportunities for trade and commerce. Suri said that visa reforms would be put in place to felicitate citizens of both countries.(ANI)

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