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President Patil arrives in Mumbai

December 01, 2008 19:13 IST

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President Pratibha Patil [Images] returned arrived in Mumbai on Monday, cutting short her two-nation visit to Vietnam and Indonesia by two days in the wake of terror strikes in this metropolis.

Patil, who hails from Maharashtra, came to Mumbai directly from Indonesia to visit those injured in the three-day-long terror attacks who are now lodged in various hospitals.

She was to return on Wednesday after her 10-day trip of the two East Asian nations, but she cut it short in the wake of attacks here.

During the visit, she enlisted support of Vietnam and Indonesia for fight against terrorism.

The President told reporters accompanying her that both Vietnam and Indonesia expressed their desire to work closely with India to strengthen the strategic partnership and support to combat terrorism.

Noting that countries across the globe have condemned the "horrendous act" and expressed their solidarity with India, she said Vietnam and Indonesia have been "unequivocal in extending their full support and cooperation to India on this issue."

She said during her talks with the Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, both sides agreed that they should cooperate actively in dealing with the menace to which her Indonesian counterpart responded positively.

"During my discussion, I was able to sense the feeling of genuine friendship that exists in both countries," said Patil, who undertook the visit as part of India's 'Look East Policy' initiative to cement the ties with Association of South East Asian Nations member countries.

Referring to her visit to Vietnam, the President said the Vietnamese leadership lauded India's great economic achievements and expressed desire to strengthen strategic partnership.

Emphasis was also laid on increased context through tourism, trade and commerce assisted by direct air links between India and Vietnam.

"There was a keenness on the side of Vietnamese leaders and business organisations to invite more investment from India and diversify the economic partnership," she added.

The close ties and strategic cooperation for securing the sea line and maritime route in the context of terrorists using sea lines were important parts of the President's discussions with leaders of Vietnam and Indonesia, Minister of State for Industry and Commerce Aswini Kumar said.

India also signed two agreements on agriculture, and allied sectors and another on youth and sports with Indonesia.

On the importance of the agreement on agriculture, Kumar said the President told her Indonesian counterpart about India's plans for a second green revolution and the need for food security.




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