Mint Quick Edit | Modi’s outreach: Austria matters

Modi and Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer discussed the Ukraine war.
Modi and Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer discussed the Ukraine war.

Summary

  • Landing in Vienna, Narendra Modi became India’s first PM to visit Austria in the last 41 years. His visit yielded an understanding with Austria to strengthen cooperation on a wide range of endeavours. This outreach is good. India’s sway in the world goes up as its global engagements improve.

One aspect of Indian foreign policy under Prime Minister Narendra Modi that has stood out since he first assumed office in 2014 is the outreach he has made to countries New Delhi seemed to have little time for. Modi’s visits to West Asia have been the most remarkable, but his visit to Austria is another good example. 

On landing in Vienna, Modi became India’s first PM in 41 years to go there. The last such visit was by Indira Gandhi back in 1983. Such engagements matter. In this case, Modi’s visit has yielded a new understanding with Austria that should put mutual ties on a fresh strategic trajectory through cooperation in areas such as infrastructure development, renewable energy, water and waste management, and artificial intelligence. 

Also read: PM Modi says, India-Austria partnership will be build on ‘shared values of democracy…..’ ahead of Austria visit

Modi and Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer also discussed the Ukraine war, with the Austrian leader noting how India was in a unique position to help secure peace in Europe. Some of India’s global outreach may have to do with the country’s adopted role as a leader of the Global South. If India is to play a more influential role in global affairs, it must engage as many countries as possible and maintain principled positions.

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