India, Sweden to strengthen defence and security coop

India, Sweden to strengthen defence and security coop

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Stefan Lofven (R) shake hands after the Innovation and Partnership Agreement been signed in the government building Rosenbad in Stockholm, Sweden April 17, 2018. (TT News Agency/Pontus Lundahl via REUTERS)
The two sides have agreed an innovation partnership and a Joint Action Plan

India and Sweden on Tuesday agreed to strengthen defence and security cooperation and also unveiled a strategic innovation partnership and a joint action plan for a "win-win" outcome during talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Swedish counterpart Stefan Lofven.

Modi, who arrived in the Swedish capital on Monday for the first bilateral visit by an Indian premier to the Nordic nation in 30 years, noted that the defence and security cooperation remained a "key pillar" in the bilateral ties.

The two prime ministers had a "fruitful discussion on issues related to cooperation in innovation, trade & investment, culture and exchanged views on regional and multilateral cooperation at the delegation-level talks," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

Two documents were agreed to between India and Sweden following the delegation-level talks to maximise bilateral cooperation for the benefit of the people.

In a joint press statement after the talks, Prime Minister Modi said the two sides focused on how Sweden can help India in its development journey.

"I believe that the most important topic in our talks was how Sweden can have a win-win partnership with India on the opportunities arising out of India's development. As a result, we have agreed on an innovation partnership and a joint action plan," Modi said.

He said innovation, investment, start-ups, manufacturing etc. are the key aspects of cooperation between India and Sweden.

"Along with them, we are also giving importance to areas such as renewable energy, urban transport, waste management, that are connected with the quality of life of the people in India," Modi said.

Modi said India and Sweden have also agreed to strengthen their defence and security cooperation.

"A key pillar of our bilateral ties is our defence and security cooperation. In the defence sector, Sweden has been India's partner for a long time. I have faith that in future also in this sector, particularly in defence production, there will be plenty of opportunities for bilateral cooperation. We have decided to strengthen our cooperation in the security sector, particularly in cybersecurity."

The two sides agreed to enhance Indo-Swedish dialogue on defence cooperation and explore the finalisation of a bilateral agreement on exchange and mutual protection of classified information for cooperation in defence.

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