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SOURCE: ANI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called his upcoming visit to Austria an “honour” as India and Austria celebrate 75 years of diplomatic relations. He expressed his anticipation for discussions with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer on strengthening the bond between the two nations and exploring new avenues of cooperation.

PM Modi’s statement came in response to Karl Nehammer’s post on X, where he described PM Modi’s upcoming visit to Austria as a “significant milestone”. Nehammer noted that they will have the opportunity to hold talks on further deepening bilateral ties and closer cooperation on many geopolitical challenges.

“I very much look forward to welcoming @narendramodi, the Prime Minister of India, the world’s largest democracy, next week in Vienna. This visit is a special honour as it marks the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister in over forty years, and a significant milestone as we celebrate 75 years of diplomatic relations with India. We will have the opportunity to talk about further deepening our bilateral relationship and closer cooperation on the many geopolitical challenges,” Karl Nehammer said in a post on X.
In response, PM Modi stated, “Thank you, Chancellor @karlnehammer. It is indeed an honour to visit Austria to mark this historic occasion. I look forward to our discussions on strengthening the bonds between our nations and exploring new avenues of cooperation. The shared values of democracy, freedom and rule of law form the bedrock upon which we will build an ever closer partnership.”

PM Modi will be travelling to Austria from July 9-10, marking the first visit of an Indian Prime Minister to Austria in 41 years, according to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
During his visit, he will meet Austria’s President, Alexander Van der Bellen, and hold talks with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer.

PM Modi and Karl Nehammer will also address business leaders from India and Austria. PM Modi will interact with members of the Indian community in Moscow and Vienna, according to the MEA.

Earlier on Friday, Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra said that PM Modi’s upcoming visit to Austria would help broaden the scope of the India-Austria partnership and address issues of regional and global importance of mutual interest.

“The visit, we are confident, will allow us to discuss various areas of importance in bilateral engagement as well as issues of regional and global importance of mutual interest and help broaden the scope of our partnership,” Vinay Kwatra said in a press conference.
Kwatra also announced that PM Modi will meet Austria’s President, Alexander Van der Bellen, and hold delegation-level talks with officials.
“In terms of programming elements, the Prime Minister, besides the ceremonial welcome being accorded to him, would also call on the President of Austria and hold restricted delegation-level talks as well as high-level business engagement in Austria,” said the Foreign Secretary.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be on an official visit to Russia and Austria from July 8-10. After concluding his visit to Russia, PM Modi will travel to Austria from July 9-10.
Diplomatic relations between India and Austria were established on November 10, 1949. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Austria.

Austria is a steadfast and reliable partner of India. The bilateral ties between the two nations are wide-ranging, multi-dimensional, and mutually beneficial.
The shared and abiding commitment to the ideals of democracy and pluralism has only reinforced close and friendly ties between India and Austria.

Then-President KR Narayanan paid the first State Visit from India to Austria in November 1999. In 2005, Austrian President Heinz Fischer visited India.

The last Indian Prime Minister to visit Austria was Indira Gandhi in 1983. She had also visited the country in 1971. In 2011, then-President Pratibha Patil travelled to Austria.
Earlier in 2017, PM Modi held a bilateral meeting with then-Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern on the sidelines of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in St Petersburg. He also met then-Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg on the sidelines of COP26 in Glasgow in 2021.