Meenakashi Lekhi, Union Minister of State (MoS), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), and Ministry of Culture, visited Norway, Iceland, and Malta on an official visit from August 16 – 23, 2022.
Visit of MoS Meenakashi Lekhi to Norway – August 16–18, 2022
MoS Meenakashi Lekhi visited Norway from August 16–18, 2022, and met with Ms. Anniken Huitfeldt, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway, Mr. Tore Hattrem, Secretary General, and Mr. Erling Rimestad, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway.
- Discussions were held on trade and investment cooperation, the blue economy, energy, the Arctic region, cultural & people-to-people ties, and regional & global topics of mutual concern.
i.Meenakashi Lekhi took part in a panel discussion on India-Norway Green Energy Cooperation on August 17, 2022, alongside Mr. Espen Barth Eide, Norway’s Minister of Climate and Environment.
ii.She visited Norway’s first Gurdwara, the Gurdwara Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji in Oslo, and interacted with the Sikh community.
Visit of MoS Meenakashi Lekhi to Iceland – August 19–20, 2022
MoS Meenakashi Lekhi, during her visit to Iceland on August 19–20, 2022, met with Ms. Thordis Kolbrun Gylfadottir, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Iceland; Ms. Lilja Alfredsdóttir, Minister of Culture & Business Affairs, Iceland; and Mr. Birgir Armannsson, Speaker of the Parliament, Iceland.
Key Discussions Held
i.MoS Meenakashi Lekhi and Ms. Thordis Kolbrun Gylfadottir had deliberations on bilateral relations, as well as regional and global issues.
- Both parties decided to increase their cooperation in the areas of geothermal energy, innovation, trade & investment, tourism, culture, fisheries and people-to-people exchanges.
ii.Meenakshi Lekhi discussed further cooperation in yoga, films, music, performing arts, and tourism during her discussion with Ms. Lilja Alfredsdóttir.
iii. She also discussed parliamentary cooperation between India and Iceland with Mr. Birgir Armannsson.
i.A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) about the predictive eye screening for diabetes was signed in the presence of MoS Meenakashi Lekhi by RetinaRisk, a local health technology firm in Iceland, and Sankara Nethralaya, a charitable not-for-profit eye hospital in India.
ii.The MoS delivered an address at the University of Iceland on the topic “India’s Role in a Changing World – [email protected]”
iii. She took part in a yoga event, Janmashtami celebrations, and the planting of a tree sapling on the premises of the Indian Embassy in Iceland, as part of the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebrations in Iceland.
iv.She also attended a cultural event in Iceland’s Harpa Concert Hall, along with Iceland’s Minister of Culture and Business Affairs.
Visit of MoS Meenakashi Lekhi to Malta – August 21-23, 2022
MoS Meenakashi Lekhi, during her visit to Malta on August 21-23, 2022, called on the President of Malta, Dr. George Vella; Dr. Ian Borg, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade; Mr. Clayton Bartolo, Minister of Tourism; and Dr. Owen Bonnici, Minister for National Heritage, Arts and Local Government.
i.India and Malta had in-depth discussions about their bilateral relations, including trade & investment, maritime cooperation, solar energy, films, tourism, and culture.
- The health and fintech sectors were identified as areas for future cooperation.
ii.The 112 Indian companies operating in Malta were recognized by Malta for their contributions, particularly to the pharmaceutical & Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sectors.
iii. In addition, MoS had a discussion with the Director and Board Members of the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies (MEDAC), University of Malta, which has an MOU with the Sushma Swaraj Institute of Foreign Service (SSIFS), MEA, India, to improve cooperation between the diplomatic institutes of the two nations.
iv.MoS participated in a yoga event, the Dingli Festival, and the planting of a tree sapling at Malta’s Buskett Woodlands, as part of the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebrations in Malta.
Recent Related News:
In July 2022, Union Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture Meenakshi Lekhi launched a book titled ‘Swadhinata Sangram Na Surviro’, in Gujarati commemorating the contributions of freedom fighters. The book has been prepared by Hindu Spiritual and Service Foundation (HSSF) in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
Prime Minister – Jonas Gahr Støre
Capital – Oslo
Currency – Norwegian krone (NOK)
Prime Minister – Katrín Jakobsdóttir
Capital – Reykjavík
Currency – Icelandic króna (ISK)
Prime Minister – Robert Abela
Capital – Valletta
Currency – Euro (EUR)