Tue, 30 May 2023

Sydney [Australia], May 22 (ANI): Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra on Monday briefed about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recently concluded visit to Papua New Guinea. He said that the India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) Summit was an opportunity for Pacific Island countries' leaders to share their views on regional priorities, interests and on engagements with India in their space.

During his visit to Papua New Guinea, PM Modi co-chaired the 3rd India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) Summit with the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, James Marape on Monday, Vinay Kwatra said.

While addressing a press briefing on Monday, Vinay Kwatra said, "As you would all know and recall the FIPIC was launched in Fiji in 2014 during Prime Minister's visit to that country. It has helped deepen considerably our engagement its scope, its breadth, its intensity with PIC countries across various domains and priorities which are set by the FIPIC countries.""Today's summit was an opportunity for PIC leaders to share their views on regional priorities and interests and on engagements with India in their space. There was an overwhelming sense of goodwill towards India and appreciation for India's rule and its engagement in the region. Prime Minister's interventions have been made available to you," he added.

He said that PM Narendra Modi arrived in Papua New Guinea on Saturday. He was received by Papua New Guinea PM James Marape. He further said, "Besides a special tradition welcome reserved normally for the returning family members of that country was also accorded to the Honourable Prime Minister."He said that PM Modi held a bilateral meeting with his counterparts from Fiji and Papua New Guinea. Kwatra said that PM Modi also held brief meetings with leaders from other Pacific Island countries He said that PM Modi also met with New Zealand counterpart Chris Hipkins and agreed to enhance cooperation between the two nations.

Vinay Mohan Kwatra said that PM Modi during his visit to Papua New Guinea launched Sustainable Coastal and Ocean Research Institute Coastal and Ocean Research Institute. He said that PM Modi launched a data warehouse for empowering Pacific island countries.

"Among other things, he launched the Sustainable Coastal and Ocean Research Institute Coastal and Ocean Research Institute (SCORI) that is housed in the University of south pacific in Suva, Fiji and is supported by NCCR, the National Center for Coastal Research, Chennai. SCORI is designed to be a Nodal Center of excellence in coastal and ocean research and development, focusing on building capacity in some of the most pressing concerns and priorities of the Pacific region for the benefit of the people of the Pacific island countries, such as the Impact of Climate Change, about which pretty much every Pacific leader spoke in today's summit on the marine ecosystem. Marine pollution, coastal vulnerability to sea level rise again, something which is very prominently underlined by each of the FIPIC leaders, sea erosions, cyclones and tsunamis," Vinay Mohan Kwatra said.

"This is part of the Space Technology Application Center that was announced by the Honorable Prime Minister in 2015," he added.

Vinay Mohan Kwatra said that PM Modi announced a 12-step action plan to strengthen the India-Pacific Island countries partnership. While addressing a press briefing, Kwatra highlighted key points of the action plan.

"Today Prime Minister also announced a 12-step action plan to strengthen the India-PIC partnership. I will just enumerate key parts of that 12-step action plan. First, he announced a 100-bed regional super-speciality hospital in Fiji. Setting up of regional it and cybersecurity training hub in Papua New Guinea. Sagar Amrit Scholarships, 1000 scholarships spread over the next five years again across the range of areas that are a priority for the Pacific island countries. Jaipur Foot camp to be organized in Papua New Guinea in 2023 and thereafter two camps annually in various countries of the Pacific," Vinay Kwatra said.

"FIPIC SME Development Project was another key action point announced today. Solarization project for government buildings across the Pacific Island countries. Desalination units for drinking water supply of sea ambulances to the countries of the Pacific Island. Setting up of dialysis units, setting up of 24/7 emergency helpline, setting up of Jan Aushadi Kendra again to make cost-effective and efficient pharmaceuticals available to the Pacific island countries and setting up of yoga centers," he added. (ANI)

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