New Delhi, Oct 9 (PTI) India and Denmark on Saturday firmed up a five-year action plan to implement their ambitious "green strategic partnership" and signed four agreements to deepen cooperation in green technologies following wide-ranging talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his visiting Danish counterpart Mette Frederiksen.
In the talks, India raised the issue of extradition of Kim Davy, the prime accused in the 1995 Purulia arms drop case, and it was agreed that the legal process in the matter must go forward.
"This matter was raised and we have an understanding that the legal process must go forward and both countries are working on it," Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs Reenat Sandhu said at a media briefing.
Besides deliberating on a range of bilateral issues, the two prime ministers exchanged views on contemporary regional and global developments including the situation in Afghanistan and expressed their commitment to continuing support to the Afghan people.
"The two sides committed to continuing support to the Afghan people, while underlining the need for inclusivity in Afghanistan, counter-terrorism guarantees and respect for human rights, in particular women''s rights, in accordance with UNSC Resolution 2593," Sandhu said.
The UNSC resolution, adopted on August 30 under India''s presidency of the global body, talked about the need for upholding human rights in Afghanistan, demanded that Afghan territory should not be used for terrorism and that a negotiated political settlement should be found out to the crisis.
Sandhu said the Danish delegation echoed India''s concerns about the situation in Afghanistan and the risk of terrorism that could emanate from there.
Both sides were of the view that the global community should have a collective approach to Afghanistan, she said.
Sandhu said both sides have agreed on a joint action plan for five years from 2021 to 2026 for the implementation of the "green strategic partnership" that was firmed up last year.
The green partnership, finalised at a virtual summit between the prime ministers of the two countries, aims to create a framework for significant expansion of cooperation in areas of renewable energy, environment, economy, climate change and science and technology.
"A year ago today, in our virtual summit, we took the historic decision to establish a Green Strategic Partnership between India and Denmark. This is a reflection of the foresight of both of our countries and respect for the environment," Modi said in his media statement after the talks.
He said the partnership is an example of how by collective effort and through technology, one can work for green growth while preserving the environment.
"Today we not only reviewed the progress made under this partnership but also reiterated our commitment to increasing cooperation on climate change in the near future. In this context, it is a great pleasure that Denmark has become a member of the International Solar Alliance. This has added a new dimension to our cooperation," he said.
A joint statement said the two prime ministers welcomed the recent announcement of a EU strategy on Indo-Pacific and noted the plans for increased European engagement in the region.
It said the two leaders also welcomed the decision by India and the European Union to resume negotiations of an ambitious, balanced, comprehensive and mutually beneficial free trade agreement and launch negotiations on a separate investment agreement.
"The prime ministers underlined the need to start the negotiations at the earliest," the joint statement said.
It said the Danish prime minister reiterated Denmark''s support for India''s permanent membership of a reformed and expanded UN Security Council.
On the green strategic partnership, it said the two prime ministers focused on ways to augment and consolidate green and low carbon growth as reflected in the five year action plan. "This includes the following sectors: water, environment, renewable energy and its integration into the grid, climate action, resource efficiency and circular economy, sustainable and smart cities, business, trade and investments," the joint statement said.
In her remarks, the Danish prime minister complimented Modi for his focus on green technologies and described him as an "inspiration for the rest of the world".
"I am also proud that Danish solutions play a key role when it comes to your very ambitious targets and I think you are an inspiration for the rest of the world. You have set some very ambitious targets when it comes to clean water for over one million households and for renewable energy including off-shore wind," she said.
Sandhu said the two prime ministers noted that if Denmark''s skill and India''s scale is combined with scope and sustainability, it can be a good example for others to emulate.
The two sides also decided to have a new partnership in the health sector besides agreeing to ramp up cooperation in smart water resource management and agriculture.
"In order to increase the agricultural productivity and income of farmers in India, we have also decided to cooperate in agriculture-related technology. Under this, work will be done on the technologies of many areas like food safety, cold chain, food processing, fertilizers, fisheries, aquaculture, etc," the prime minister said.
"We will also cooperate in areas such as Smart Water Resource Management, ''Waste to Best'', and efficient supply chains," he said, describing the talks as "fruitful".
The two sides inked four government-to-government agreements that will provide for deepening of cooperation in areas of water, science and technology and climate change.
Three commercial agreements were also announced that included an MoU between Reliance Industries and Stiesdal Fuel Technologies for developing a hydrogen electrolyser and its subsequent manufacturing and deployment in India.
Another MoU between Infosys Technologies and Aarhus University was finalised to establish a centre of excellence for sustainability solutions in Denmark.
In his statement, Modi thanked the Danish side for the opportunity to host the next India-Nordic Summit, and for inviting me to visit Denmark.
"I express my heartfelt thanks for today''s very useful conversation and for your positive thoughts on all the decisions that add a new chapter in our bilateral cooperation," he said.
"Great pleasure to welcome PM Mette Frederiksen on her first visit to India. Our Green Strategic Partnership is focused on clean technologies and green growth. Our collaboration across sectors is vibrant and dynamic," Modi tweeted later.
In her media statement, Frederiksen said the cooperation between India and Denmark is a great example of how green growth and green transition go hand-in-hand.
She said both sides decided to boost cooperation, particularly in the health and agriculture sectors.
Frederiksen arrived here early this morning on a three-day state visit. PTI MPB ZMN