India, Italy vow to fight terror:

India, Italy vow to fight terror:

Context:

India and Italy resolved to fight terrorism and violent extremism in all their forms and manifestations, as they strongly pitched for strengthening international partnership and concerted action in addressing the menace of terrorism.

Introduction:

  • India and Italy looked at strengthening the bilateral political and economic relations when Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni visited India yesterday
  • The visit marks the end of a chill in ties that set in 2012 after the killing of two Indian fishermen by a pair of Italian marines off the coast of Kerala.
  • The visit, comes after both sides managed to contain the diplomatic fallout of the marine crisis.

Key Takeaways from talks

Combating Terrorism and Cyber Security Cooperation

  • Strengthening international partnership
  • Emphasised on the need for effective implementation of existing international commitments on countering terrorism, including the UN Global Countering Terrorism Strategy, UNSC resolutions and targeted sanctions relating to terrorism.
  • Both the sides also discussed some of the emerging security challenges facing the world.
  •  Both the nations are committed to strengthen cooperation in cyber security.
  • The leaders expressed satisfaction on the first India-Italy Joint Working Group on Combating International Terrorism held in Rome on November 10, 2016, and agreed to further strengthen the consultation mechanism through regular exchange of assessments and information, training and capacity building programmes, etc, in the sphere of counter-terrorism.
  • The leaders of both side agreed to strengthen cooperation to take decisive and concerted actions against the al-Qaeda, ISIS, their affiliates and all the other UN-designated globally proscribed terrorist and terror entities, including those mentioned in the India-EU joint statement on cooperation in combating terrorism.
  • Two leaders also called for an early conclusion of negotiations and adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism in the UN, as an instrument that would reinforce the message that no cause or grievance justifies terrorism.
  • They also expressed concerns at the growing misuse of internet towards radicalization of youth and agreed to strengthen cooperation in combating radicalization and violent extremism. The leaders of both countries reaffirmed their commitment to an open, free, secure, stable, peaceful and accessible cyberspace, enabling economic growth and innovation.

Clean Energy & Climate Change

  • On climate change, the two leaders confirmed their strong commitment to the full implementation of the Paris Agreement adopted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and being guided by its principles including the principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibility and respective capabilities in the light of different national circumstances. They pledged to work together in the run up to and at CoP23, and beyond, on the next steps towards substantial and balanced progress on all items of the Paris work programme.

Strengthening Economic Partnership

  • The two leaders appreciated the strong India-Italy economic linkages and committed to work in a result-oriented and mutually beneficial manner by injecting a renewed momentum into the broad-based economic engagement between the two countries. PM Modi called upon the Italian industry to explore India’s untapped business opportunities in the infrastructure, food processing, renewable energy, and high-tech manufacturing sectors

Science & Technology and Education collaboration

  • The Leaders noted the increasing number of student exchange programmes at the university level and the growing presence of Indian students in Italian universities. They expressed appreciation at the forthcoming launch of the first Roadshow of the Italian Universities in India which will take place in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru in November 2017.
  • Both sides agreed to initiate collaboration on apprenticeship and on the relationship between industrial clusters and the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system. The two leaders also agreed to explore the prospects establishing state-of-the-art skill academies in India for providing training to trainers and trainees on trans-national standards.
  • The two Leaders underlined the importance of the Executive Programme of Cooperation (EPOC) for the years 2017-2019 signed on 18 April 2017 under the framework of the Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation between the Department of Science & Technology on the Indian side and Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation.

Signed Agreements are :

  • MoU on cooperation in field of Energy.
  • Executive Protocol on Cultural Cooperation.
  • Joint Declaration of Intent of Cooperation for safety in Railway sector.
  • MOU for promoting mutual investments between Italian trade agency and Invest India.
  • MoU on 70 years of diplomatic relations between Indian Council of Cultural Relations and Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation of Italy.
  • MoU between Training Unit of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Government of Italy and Foreign Service Institute of the Ministry of External Affairs, India

Natural partners:

  • Italy’s support for India’s candidature at the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in 2016 was an important marker in multilateral collaboration and indicated Rome’s long-term commitment to supporting India’s role in the export control regimes.
  • Italian supportive role in the EU and NSG will help our cause with the EU-India FTA (Free Trade Agreement) and out bid for NSG membership.
  • India’s bid for membership at the NSG has so far been scuttled by repeated opposition from China.
  • Apart from the NSG, India is also seeking Italian support at the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) meeting that begins on Monday in Buenos Aires, where India has been pushing for stringent measures against Pakistan on terror funding issues.

A difficult phase:

  • The visit by an Italian PM comes after a decade. The period from 2012 to 2016 marked a difficult bilateral phase as the marines issue, which included two of Rome’s marines became a national debate in Italy.
  • The case is now with the International Court of Justice, where a round of arbitral proceedings is expected to be completed by 2018.
  • However, several meetings were held between the two sides as political ties warmed up following the change of government in Delhi in 2014.
  • In July 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Mr. Gentiloni on the sidelines of G20 summit in Hamburg.
  • Apart from the expected issues, Italy and India may also discuss the tension between the U.S. and Iran after President Donald Trump decertified the nuclear deal with Iran, where both Italy and India have strong contacts.
  • As one of the signatories in the nuclear deal, Italy’s role is crucial in this matter.

Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR):

  • The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) is a multilateral export control regime.
  • It is an informal and voluntary partnership among 35 countries to prevent the proliferation of missile and unmanned aerial vehicle technology capable of carrying above 500 kg payload for more than 300 km.
  • The MTCR was established in April 1987 by the G7 countries: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.
  • The MTCR was created in order to curb the spread of unmanned delivery system for nuclear weapons.
  • MTCR is a group of nations which controls the transfer of missiles and related technology and keeps a check on its proliferation.

India-Italy relations:

  • India and Italy are ancient civilizations and have known, interacted and traded with each other for over 2000 years. Political relations between India and Italy were established in 1947. The two countries enjoy cordial relationship
  • Italy is India’s fifth largest trading partner in the European Union (EU) with a bilateral trade of $8.79 billion in 2016-17, according to Indian figures.
  • There are more than 600 Italian companies with offices in India in areas ranging from fashion to textiles and textile machinery, auto components, energy and insurance.
  • Italy also has a sizeable population of expatriate Indians numbering almost 200,000.
  • India and Italy are fighting against terrorism and both the nations are committed against climate change.
  • India’s exports to Italy are at $4.90 billion, while its imports are at $3.89 billion, resulting in a trade imbalance of $1 billion in favour of India. In the first four months of 2017-18 fiscal, bilateral trade has reached $3.22 billion.
  • Both the nations share common democratic values and share a rule-based approach to the international system.
  • Ties between the business communities held strong over the years, creating solid bridges between Italy and India.
  • Italy is among top defence manufacturers in Europe.
  • Hundreds of Italian companies are in India and are also part of the Make-in-India initiative .
  • Other sectors include renewable energy and green technologies — key assets on the way toward sustainable growth and development.
  • India and Italy have shared efforts to have a signed declaration on terrorism at the G20 Hamburg Summit.

Strain in ties:

  • The strain in bilateral India-Italy ties—caused by the arrest of the two Italian marines—had spilled over on relations between India and the EU, India’s largest trading partner and a key source of investment.
  • India-Italy ties ran aground after the two marines, Latorre Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone, were arrested on charges of killing Indian fishermen, mistaking them to be pirates.
  • Italy contested India’s charge that the ship that the marines were on the Enrica Lexie was in Indian waters at the time of shooting.
  • The Italian government was of the view that since the ship was in international waters, only the International Tribunal for the Law of the sea could apply, questioning the Indian government’s jurisdiction over the case.
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