NEW DELHI :
Between 2015 and 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited 58 countries, incurring a total expense of ₹517.82 crore to the national exchequer, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan told parliament on Tuesday.
According to the details provided by Muraleedharan, in his response to a question in the Rajya Sabha, PM Modi has made five visits each to the US, Russia and China, and multiple trips to some other countries like Singapore, Germany, France, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates.
PM Modi’s last visit was to Brazil in 2019
PM Modi’s last visit in 2019 was to Brazil for the BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) summit.
The minister said that PM Modi’s visits abroad have enhanced the international community’s understanding of India’s views on a whole range of issues — bilateral, regional and global. The trips helped in strengthening India’s relations with the countries in a wide range of areas including trade and investment, technology, defence collaboration and people-to-people contact, the minister said.
“These, in turn, have contributed to India’s national development agenda to promote economic growth and well being of our people,” he said.
“India is now increasingly contributing to shaping the global agenda at the multilateral level including on climate change, trans-national crime and terrorism, cyber security and nuclear non-proliferation, and offering to the world its own unique initiatives for global issues like the International Solar Alliance,” he added.
In response to a separate question on Nepal, Muraleedharan said India’s age-old ties with the neighbouring country are “unique and special”, based on shared history, geography, culture, close people to people ties, mutual security and close economic linkages. Asked whether the government is aware that Nepal has signed a number of transit and transportation treaties with China in the past few years to shrug off its dependence on India, he said New Delhi’s ties with Kathmandu stand on their own merit.
“Two-thirds of Nepal’s global trade is with India and over 90 % of Nepal’s third country import-export transit is through India. India’s ties with Nepal stand on their own merit, and are independent of Nepal’s relations with third countries,” he said.
India’s ties with Nepal came under strain after the Himalayan nation drew up a new political map in May showing Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura in Uttarakhand as its territories. India claims these areas along the border with Nepal in Uttarakhand as part of its territory.
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