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India, Chile Sign Four Agreements
Ravinder Singh Robin, ANI

Santiago (Chile), Apr 22 (ANI): In a bid to give further push to their bilateral ties, India and Chile have inked four series of cooperation agreements on science and technology, air services, sports cooperation, and Antarctica expeditions.

President Pratibha Patil and her Chilean counterpart Michelle Bachelet were present on the occasion.

Patil, who arrived in Chile on Sunday night, is mid-way through her 12-day long tour to Brazil, Mexico and Chile, aimed at strengthening the ties as well as to boost up the economic relation with these Latin American countries.

From Indian side, Minister of State for New and Renewable Energy, Villas Muttemwar and Indian Ambassador to Chile Susmita G. Thomas signed the agreements, whereas the Foreign Minister of Chile Alejandrao Floxley Roseco and vice-secretary of sports Jaime Pizzerro, signed on behalf of Chile at the patio Las Camelias, inside La Moneda government palace.

After signing the agreements, both the Presidents expressed their commitment to work together in order to make bilateral integration more substantial, especially in the areas of economy, trade and technological co-operation.

Patil said these four agreements would help further diversify the institutional structure of cooperation and give impetus to developing ties between both countries. She congratulated Michelle Bachelet on being the first woman President of Chile and lauded her commitment to democracy and social justice.

Echoing President Patil’s concern over the current and common problems of both countries, Bachelet said: “In our talks we have always agreed to work together in order to create global public goods like a world ruled by peace and safety, the respect for International Law and current treaties, the fight against terrorism and poverty”.

Bachelet further said, “We Chileans are very proud to welcome the President of India, the world’s largest democracy. India has been a leader among the developing countries of the world. We are also very happy to have this relationship with the country housing the world’s second population and a very promising and strong economy, undoubtedly one of the cornerstones of the economic rise of Asia in the 21st century”.

“Chilean-Indian friendship has been long and fruitful. We share basic values like the defense of freedom and respect for human rights tolerance and multilateralism in international politics,” Bachelet added.

Indian business leaders from auto, information technology, pharmaceutical and steel industries are also accompanying Patil on this trip. Chile is Indias second trade partner in Latin America. Trade exchange surpassed $2.4 billion in 2007, a 38.8 percent increase compared with 2006. (ANI)

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