Vice-President Hamid Ansari on Tuesday took up the issue of international terrorism with the Czech Republic leadership here on the last leg of his four-day visit to this country, during which New Delhi signed three agreements with Prague. A Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation was set up and a new element of cooperation in agriculture, food- processing, nanotechnology and nano fibre optics was added to the bilateral cooperation agenda.

At a banquet hosted in his honour by President of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic Premysl Sobotka, Mr. Ansari emphasised the need for strengthening global consensus and legal regime against terrorism, including early adoption of the “long overdue” Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism at the United Nations.

Grim reminder

“Incidents of terrorism in India and other countries serve as a grim reminder that the scourge of terrorism is disruptive of all civilised life. It knows no boundaries and seriously threatens international peace and security. We must continue to reinvigorate our collective efforts to strengthen international cooperation to eradicate terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Swift and credible steps must be taken to eliminate terrorist safe havens.”

Minister of State for Communications Sachin Pilot, who is accompanying the Vice-President on his Central Europe tour, signed for India two agreements on Social Security and Administrative Arrangement for the implementation of the pact on Social Security (to protect the contributions made by professional Indians who work in the Czech Republic) and on Economic Cooperation.

$1-billion annual trade

India and the Czech Republic have investment and annual trade of $1 billion in sectors as diverse as software, pharmaceuticals, infrastructure, textiles and engineering goods. Both sides agreed to tap the potential in science and technology and agriculture sectors.

A Protocol on Amendment of the Agreement for the Promotion and Protection of Investments was signed by Indian Ambassador D.P. Srivastava. For the Czech Republic, Deputy Minister of Finance Jan Malek signed the pact which has been updated to bring it in line with that country joining the European Union.

According to Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs Vivek Katju, Mr. Ansari took up the issue of easing visa restrictions and mobility of businessmen and industry with Czech Republic Prime Minister Jan Fischer.

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