Rosenthal discusses key issues with Indian counterpart

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Uri Rosenthal, met with his Indian counterpart Somanahalli Mallaiah Krishna in New Delhi today. They discussed several key issues, including closer cooperation on counterterrorism, more intensive trade relations, human rights and Afghanistan.

The Netherlands and India want to exchange more information in the fight against terrorism and work together more closely on counterpiracy. Mr Rosenthal has also invited Indian security officials to come and study the security arrangements at Schiphol airport, Amsterdam.

Mr Krishna said that there were also opportunities for the two countries to strengthen their economic ties. The Netherlands is India’s fifth largest investor and bilateral trade has boomed over the past decade. However, in Mr Krishna’s view, there is still plenty of scope for the Netherlands to invest in infrastructure and logistics, water management and communication technology.

Mr Rosenthal said that the Netherlands favoured the establishment of a free trade agreement between the EU and India. He also noted that India had made great strides in the field of corporate responsibility.

Mr Rosenthal rounded off the meeting by discussing human rights in India, and in particular the issue of child labour. He praised India for achieving major progress on the numbers of children attending school instead of working. Forced labour, women’s rights, the position of sexual minorities and that of trade unions were also discussed by the two ministers.