New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar concluded his two-nation European countries' visit to Slovakia and the Czech Republic where he held several high-level exchanges and discussed enhancing cooperation across sectors with the leadership of both the nations.

Jaishankar paid an official visit to Slovakia on June 2-3 and to the Czech Republic on June 4-5 2022.

The visit to Slovakia, undertaken at the invitation of Ivan Korcok, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovakia, was the first-ever visit at the level of EAM since its creation in 1993. India and Slovakia share close and friendly ties based on common values of democracy, rule of law, freedom and equality.

On June 3, EAM participated in the GLOBSEC 2022 Forum held in Bratislava and spoke on the topic 'Taking Friendship to the Next Level: Allies in the Indo-Pacific Region.

On the bilateral front, EAM called on Eduard Heger, Prime Minister of Slovakia and had a delegation-level talk with Foreign Minister Korcok. Jaishankar thanked the Slovak side for their assistance in the evacuation of 1,115 Indian students from Ukraine, said a statement in a government press release.

He also appreciated the mutual recognition of vaccine certificates between India and Slovakia which has greatly facilitated travel between the two countries. Both sides discussed the expanding cooperation in trade, investment and defence sectors.

EAM invited FM Korcok to visit India and conveyed that the rapidly growing private sector, as well as the opening of the Defence industry, had led to considerable ease in doing business. FM Korcok conveyed his interest in visiting India with a large business delegation in the coming months.

Jaishankar also invited Slovakia to join the International Solar Alliance. Both sides also exchanged views on regional as well as multilateral issues including Ukraine, the EU and the Indo-Pacific.

EAM also interacted with a cross-section of the Indian community, including students. He appreciated their role in strengthening bilateral relations as well as in promoting people-to-people ties between the two countries.

On the sidelines of the GLOBSEC 2022 Forum, EAM met Alexander Schallenberg, Minister of European and International Affairs of Austria. FM Schallenberg warmly recalled his visit to India in March 2022 and conveyed that it was very productive and had led to further strengthening of our partnership, especially in the field of business and culture.

Both sides agreed to work towards an Agreement on Migration and Mobility as well as mutual recognition of vaccine certificates. The two Ministers also exchanged views on regional and multilateral issues, including the Ukraine conflict and its implications.

EAM also called on Milo Dukanovic, President of Montenegro. Both leaders noted the friendly ties between the two countries and the close cooperation in the multilateral field. They discussed ways to expand our relations across sectors, especially in the areas of investment, culture, tourism and renewable energy. The Montenegrin President appreciated our ongoing collaboration in the field of ITEC and invited EAM to visit Montenegro in the coming months.

Jaishankar visited the Czech Republic at the invitation of Jan Lipavsky, Minister of Foreign Affairs. India and the Czech Republic have historically enjoyed warm and friendly relations which have been strengthened in the last several years through high-level exchanges and enhanced cooperation across sectors.

During the delegation-level talks, the two leaders discussed the entire gamut of bilateral relations, including political, economic, defence & security, S&T, cultural and people to people ties. Both sides appreciated that bilateral trade had crossed over USD 2 billion. Discussions were also held on India-EU relations, including the upcoming Czech Presidency of the EU.

Both sides agreed to work towards an early conclusion of the India-EU FTA. Both sides exchanged views on the Indo-Pacific and the Ukraine conflict. They also discussed cooperation at multilateral fora and agreed to work closely in this sphere.

EAM also interacted with Czech Members of the European Parliament and discussed India's strong ties with the EU, as well as the Czech Republic. They exchanged views on the Indo-Pacific, Food and Energy security, as well as digital cooperation. In Prague, EAM paid floral tributes at the bust of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore. He also interacted with the members of the Indian community and appreciated their role in promoting India-Czech people to people ties.