After Sanskrit Welcome in Ireland, PM Modi’s ‘Secularism’ Dig at Opposition


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Dublin: Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrapped up a five-hour trip to Ireland with an address to the Indian community in Dublin. He promised to visit again and made a jibe at opposition parties back home.

“Irish children here sang Sanskrit Shlokas to welcome me… In India, this would have raised questions about secularism,” said PM Modi.

The first Indian Prime Minister to visit Ireland in almost 60 years, PM Modi said of his brief trip, “I will begin by apologizing… I wish I had spent more time with you.” He also said, “This is a good start. Next time it won’t take 60 years for a PM to come to Ireland.”

He later posed for pictures with some of the diaspora members.

The PM said he had held productive talks in the limited time he spent with his Irish counterpart Enda Kenny.

After his meeting with Mr Kenny, PM Modi said at a joint media event, “I was pleased to exchange views on a broad range of international challenges, including terrorism, radicalisation and the situation in Europe and Asia.”

He said he had sought Ireland’s support for the reforms of the UN security council within a fixed time frame – in particular for successful inclusion of inter-governmental negotiations in the 70th year of the United Nations and international export control regimes including the Nuclear Suppliers Group or NSG.

The PM noted that their discussions underlined the importance of closer cooperation between the two countries which share democratic values and are consistent advocates of international peace and stability.

He said he hoped that Ireland’s visa policy will be sensitive to the requirements of India’s IT firms.

India and Ireland, the Prime Minister said, had much in common and were are “ideally placed to form productive partnerships to take advantage of the opportunities in the digital age.”

The PM’s Ireland visit was a stopover en route to the US for a six-day tour. From Dublin, PM Modi left for New York to attend the UN General Assembly session and will participate in summits including one on peacekeeping being hosted by US President Barack Obama.

On Saturday, he will travels on to the West Coast, where he will address the Indian community in Silicon Valley and will visit the Facebook and Google headquarters.

Online Source

The Indian Telegraph Sydney Australia

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