Bilateral Current Affairs
July 3rd Week 2015 Current Affairs
Category : Bilateral Current Affairs
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1) India-South Africa affirm commitment to boost ties in security, commerce

India and South Africa on 8th July affirmed their commitment to strengthen existing bilateral cooperation, especially in areas like security and commerce. This was agreed at a meeting between Home Minister Rajnath Singh and his South African counterpart Malusi Nkanyezi Gigaba. 
2) India, US sign agreement to implement FATCA
India and United States have signed Inter Governmental Agreement to implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The agreement will promote transparency on tax matters. Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta Das and U.S. Ambassador to India Mr. Richard Verma signed the agreement in New Delhi on 9th July. It underscores growing international co-operation to end tax evasion everywhere. 
  • The signing of agreement is a re-affirmation of the shared commitment of India and USA towards tax transparency and the fight against offshore tax evasion and avoidance. Mr. Das said this step reaffirms the commitment of central government to fight the menace of black money. 

3) India, Pakistan decide to take dialogue forward 

India and Pakistan on 10th July unequivocally condemned terrorism in all its forms and decided to take the dialogue process forward. 
  • After much awaited meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Ufa on 10th July, a joint statement was read out by the foreign secretaries. 
  • Both the nations have decided to expedite the trial of Mumbai terror attack case. To discuss all issues related to terrorism, National security advisors of both the countries will meet in New Delhi. Indian PM Modi and Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan`s Foreign Secretary said that both sides will work to combat terrorism. 
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi also met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on the sidelines of SCO summit in Ufa. During the meeting both the leaders talked about strengthening bilateral ties and opening new avenues of collaborations. 
  • Mumbai terror attack trial: Joint statement says, both the nations decide to release fishermen in each other`s custody within 15 days. PM Modi to visit Pakistan in 2016 for the SAARC Summit. 
4) India to donate 50 tonnes of galvanised sheets to Nepal
India will donate 50 tonnes of galvanised sheets of steel to Nepal for rehabilitation and reconstruction works of the quake-hit country. The sheets costing over twenty lakh have been manufactured by Steel Authority of India Limited. 
  • The galvanised corrugated sheets would be used for providing temporary shelters to a large number of affected families in Nepal. 
  • Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae handed over the documents related to import of the sheets to the Nepal Home Secretary at Singha Durbar secretariat. Nepal was struck by a devastating earthquake that killed over 9,000 people in April this year. 

5) India, Turkmenistan sign seven agreements

Batting for early implementation of the $10 billion TAPI pipeline project, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 11th July evinced India`s interest in long-term investment in the energy sector in Turkmenistan as the two countries inked seven pacts and vowed to jointly combat terrorism in the region. 
  • During comprehensive talks between Modi and Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov both sides decided to intensify efforts in dealing with threats of terrorism, organised crime and illegal drug-trafficking. 
  • The two sides, a total of seven pacts were signed including an agreement on cooperation in the field of defence and another on tourism.  
  • The TAPI project was envisaged to take gas from Turkmenistan, which holds the world`s fourth-largest natural gas reserves, to India and Pakistan through Afghanistan. 
  • The pact on defence would provide a framework for intensifying bilateral defence and security cooperation through exchanges of high and mid-level visits, training and dialogue between the Ministries of Defence and other relevant organisations.  
  • It would also enable capacity-building and technical cooperation, thus imparting a new momentum to the bilateral partnership in the defence sector.  
  • Yoga centre inaugurated: Indian Prime Minister Modi inaugurated the traditional medicine and yoga centre in Turkmenistan. 
6) India and Thailand sign important agreements
Current Affirs India and Thailand on 29th June signed a number of important agreements including the double taxation avoidance treaty and exchanged instruments of ratification on the extradition treaty inked in 2013 which provides for the legal framework for seeking extradition of fugitive offenders
  • On the last day of her three-day visit, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj co-chaired the 7th meeting of the India-Thailand Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation. The two sides also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Establishment of Nalanda University.  
  • By signing this agreement, Thailand joins other East Asian Summit countries in the establishment of Nalanda University in Bihar. The agreements were signed by Swaraj and Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Gen Tanasak Patimapragorn.  
  • Another significant development during External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj`s visit to Thailand is the signing of an MoU on the establishment of an Ayurveda Chair in one of the Thai Universities.  
  • The MoU is between the Ministry of Ayush and Rangsit University of Thailand under which the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences will set up a Chair at the Thai University to undertake academic and research activities in Ayurveda. 
  • Co-chairing the 7th Joint Commission meeting, Sushma emphasised trade and investment, connectivity, security cooperation, defence, science and technology and people to people contact as key drivers. 
7) 5th Mission of Bangladesh in Asom
India has given clearance to Bangladesh to open its fifth diplomatic mission in India. The new Deputy High Commission will be opened in Guwahati, the capital of Assam. The development was in line with the joint declaration issued during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Bangladesh when both the countries expressed the wish to open more missions
  • The new mission in Guwahati will have consular jurisdiction over Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. Bangladesh has missions already in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Agartala.