Why Is PM Modi’s Visit To Vienna Today Significant For New Delhi? 10 Points | India News

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting Russia for two days at the invitation of President Vladimir Putin to attend the 22nd India-Russia Annual Summit. On Monday, he visited Putin’s official residence for a private engagement. Modi is scheduled to leave for Vienna today (July 9-10). He stated on Sunday that the shared values of democracy, freedom, and the rule of law are the foundation for building a closer partnership between the two countries. 

  • First Visit in 41 Years: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Austria on July 9-10, marking the first Indian prime ministerial visit to the country in 41 years since Indira Gandhi’s visit in 1983.  

  • 75 Years of Diplomatic Relations: This visit coincides with the 75th anniversary of India and Austria’s diplomatic relations, which began in 1949, with Jawaharlal Nehru making the inaugural visit in 1955. 

  • Historical Context of Visits: The visit follows a tradition of significant PM-level and President-level exchanges. While no Indian prime minister has visited Austria since Indira Gandhi, there have been several presidential visits. President K R Narayanan visited in 1999, followed by Austrian President Heinz Fischer in 2005, Austrian Vice Chancellor Josef Proll in 2010, and Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil in 2011, according to the Ministry of External Affairs website. 

  • Bilateral Cooperation Opportunities: Austria offers “excellent opportunities” for cooperation in infrastructure, renewable energy, high technology, start-ups, media, and entertainment, which will be key discussion points during Modi’s visit.  

  • High-Level Engagements: Modi will engage in high-level talks with the President of Austria, Chancellor Karl Nehammer, and have business engagements and interactions with the Indian community in Vienna. “We will have the opportunity to talk about further deepening our bilateral relationship and closer cooperation on the many geopolitical challenges,” the Austrian chancellor said. 

  • Recent Interactions: External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar’s visit in late 2022 and the agreements signed then demonstrate ongoing efforts to strengthen bilateral ties. During Jaishankar’s visit to Austria from December 31, 2022, to January 3, 2023, five agreements were signed. 

  • Cultural and Historical Links: The historical and cultural exchanges, such as the visits of Rabindranath Tagore to Vienna, underline the long-standing cultural connections between India and Austria. 

  • Geopolitical Discussions: The visit will include discussions on deepening bilateral relationships and addressing various geopolitical challenges, as indicated by Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer. 

  • Shared Values: Modi emphasized shared values of democracy, freedom, and the rule of law as foundational to the partnership between India and Austria. 

  • Indian Diaspora in Austria: The Indian diaspora has expressed joy over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit to Austria, highlighting it as a source of pride since it marks the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister in 40 years.

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