New Delhi [India], April 9 (ANI): While expressing commitment to work with New Delhi in the Indo-Pacific region, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that India is going to have a critical role in any strategy pertaining to the region.
Speaking at a virtual briefing, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Secretary (EW) Sandeep Chakraborty said: "They (leaders) also discussed the areas of convergence like the Indo-Pacific resilient supply chains and global digital governance...The Netherlands is the third country after France and Germany to come up with the Indo-Pacific guidelines. The two leaders emphasised on the close convergence between each other's vision for a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific."
"They agreed to work together with regional bodies to support maritime security, rule of law, freedom of navigation and rules-based international order," he added.
While replying to a query, Chakraborty said: "There were several references to the Indo Pacific. Prime Minister Rutte mentioned that with France and Germany, they are working with the European Union (EU) to come up with its Indo-Pacific strategy and said that in any Indo-Pacific strategy, India is going to have a critical role and appreciated India's importance in the Indo-Pacific context."
Rutte also said that a Dutch Frigate will come on a voyage to the Indo-Pacific in the coming months and will exercise with the Indian Navy, according to the MEA secretary, adding that the Dutch policy on the Indo-Pacific is very India-centric.
Chakraborty also informed that the leaders of both countries reaffirmed their commitment to multilateralism and agreed to work towards challenges of climate change, counterterrorism, SDGs and pandemic.
The two leaders also exchanged views on COVID-19, including vaccine solidarity and support to combat the pandemic. They emphasised on the need to promote equitable and affordable access to COVID-19 vaccines to all countries.
"The PM of Netherlands welcomed India's Vaccine Maitri programme and they also agreed to collaborate on joint development of vaccines," said the MEA Secretary.
PM Modi at the summit said that in the post-COVID world, new opportunities will be created where like-minded countries like India and Netherlands can build bilateral relations.
"I have complete faith that in the post-COVID world, some new opportunities will come to the fore, where like-minded countries like ours can build bilateral cooperation," he added.
Meanwhile, his Dutch counterpart Rutte lauded India's efforts in supporting Dutch investors during the pandemic, saying that the country's energy, creativity, hospitality are without equal.
"Your support helped support the continuation of trade between our countries even in those difficult times. We even appreciated the air bubble which was an agreement between our two countries and this enabled our national carrier to bring many Dutch and EU citizens back to Europe and return Indian citizens to India including many coming from Latin America," he said. (ANI)