Brussels, March 30: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a three nation tour to Belgium, US and Saudi Arabia and he is expected to have an extremely fruitful trip. The PM will attend the 13th India-EU Summit in the capital city of Belgium today and the conference will be focussed on counter-terrorism. Also Read - Delhi Chalo: Are Autos, Taxis Going Off Roads In National Capital? Autorickshaw Union Clears Doubts
Modi will also meet Belgian president Charles Michel for bilateral talks today. Before leaving for the terror struck city, Modi had issued a statement saluting the “the resilience and spirit of the people of Belgium.” Also Read: Narendra Modi departs on three-nation tour Also Read - Amid Farmers Protest, PM Modi Says New Agricultural Reforms Have Given Them Legal Protection
“We stand shoulder to shoulder with them in the wake of the horrific attacks in Brussels and share the grief of those who lost their loved ones”, the PM’s statement had said. Here is all that is on scheduled for Modi today: Also Read - Nationwide Lockdown on Cards? PM Modi to Hold All-party Meet on December 4 to Discuss COVID Situation
Free Trade Agreement (FTA)
The Summit, which is held once every four years, will focus on counter terrorism, against the backdrop of the attacks on Brussels, but trade and investment will be high on the agenda too. EU officials hope that the Summit will give fresh political impetus to the Free Trade Agreement (FTA). PM’s statement about the same said, “Within the E.U., Belgium is India’s 2nd largest trading partner. My meeting with the Prime Minister aims to expand trade, investment and high technology partnership with this important E.U. member.” He further said, “The European Union is a vital trading partner and the biggest export destination for India. This Summit will advance our multifaceted engagement across a whole range of domains.”
India-Belgium ARIES telescope
The PM along with his Belgian counterpart will inaugurate the India-Belgium Aryabhatta Research Institute for Observational Sciences (ARIES) telescope. Modi will activate the telescope himself. The telescope is Asia’s largest optical telescope and has been developed with joint international effort between Indian, Russian and Belgian scientists. The work on the telescope had begun in March 2007, when Aries and Belgian company Advanced Mechanical and Optical Systems(AMOS) entered a contract for design, manufacture, integration, testing, supply and installation of the telescope. The telescope, that is stationed in Devasthal in Nainital, will be remotely activated by the PM in Belgium.
Meetings with prominent people and address of Indian diaspora
Modi will also meet with the Members of European Parliament (MEPs), Indologists, Belgian CEOs as well as a wide cross section of the Indian diaspora in Belgium. He will also interact with the Board Members of the Association of Diamond Traders in Belgium. The same evening, he will also address and interact with the Indian diaspora in Belgium, during a community programme. The PM will also hold a memorial service for the Indian Infosys techie Raghavendra Ganesh, who had been killed during the terrorist attack on Brussels, which occurred on March 22, 2016.