External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on India's Caribbean partners for a stronger collective action to deal with the threat posed by terrorism, citing that counter-terrorism requires a strong collective action by the global community.
"I look forward to working with all of you to strengthen and deepen India's relations with the CARICOM countries and to join hands to combat the threat posed by terrorism as there is a need for a strong collective action by the global community to deal with counter-terrorism," Sushma said, as she concluded her statement at the third India-CARICOM ministerial meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.
"These are very important for us to chart out the future course of action. We have taken careful note of all the valuable suggestions and ideas. Today a decisive, energetic and action oriented leadership is in-charge in India and it is making special efforts to connect to all its friends across the world," she added.
Sushma asked the Caribbean partners to enhance high-level interactions and offered concessional financial credit to the CARICOM countries for projects in varied sectors.
"We have also been offering concessional financial credit to some CARICOM countries for projects in sectors such as irrigation, drinking water, infrastructure, agriculture and renewable energy. We would be happy to extend such soft loans to other countries in CARICOM as well. It will not only bring us closer but enhance our links and further strengthen our political, economic and people-to-people ties," she said.
"India will like to share its experiences on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that was adopted during the U.N. Summit in September 2015 and enhance cooperation with all CARICOM countries on various global issues in multilateral forums," Sushma added.
Emphasising on enhancing cooperation in capacity building, business and trade, Swaraj said that India's excellent relations with every individual Caribbean country has been reinforced by New Delhi's growing relations with CARICOM.
Asserting that India's ties with the Caribbean region are historic and civilization, the she also added that India would invite the CARICOM member countries to sign International Solar Alliance Framework Agreement.
"Today a decisive, energetic and action oriented leadership is in-charge in India and it is making special efforts to connect to all its friends across the world. In this context, we also realise the importance of regular interactions with our Caribbean partners," Sushma said.
"Our discussions today have once again shown that there is much to gain by sharing our experiences in various fields such as capacity building. On our part, we are ready to give as much assistance as we can and share all our experiences with the CARICOM countries. For instance, during his visit to the region in 2014 Prime Minister Modi had offered to share India's experience in the IT sector and we have been setting up IT Centres of Excellence in various countries of the LAC region. We would be happy to extend cooperation to set up such centers in the countries that do not yet have them," she added.
Swaraj further said that India has been offering concessional financial credit to some CARICOM countries for projects in sectors such as irrigation, drinking water, infrastructure, agriculture and renewable energy and would be happy to extend such soft loans to other countries in the CARICOM as well.
Earlier, Swaraj also held bilateral meetings with Norway's Foreign Minister Borge Brende and Belgium's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Didier Reynders.
She also attended the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Ministerial Meeting on Palestine and reaffirmed India's support for the Palestinian people and their cause at the United Nations General Assembly.
"It is a personal honour for me to be here today. India's support for the Palestinian people and the Palestinian cause is historical, going back to a period before our own independence," Sushma said.
"In the NAM ministers meeting on Palestine, we reiterated our commitment to the cause of Palestine and our solidarity with cause of its people," the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson, Raveesh Kumar, said, during a press briefing.