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Lekhi concludes Portugal visit, signs agreement on recruiting Indians to work in Portugal

·2-min read
Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs Meenakashi Lekhi (File Photo/ANI)
Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs Meenakashi Lekhi (File Photo/ANI)

Lisbon [Portugal], September 15 (ANI): Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs Meenakashi Lekhi during her recent visit signed an agreement on labour mobility, facilitating recruitment of Indian citizens to work in Portugal.

She visited Portugal from September 12-14.

During the visit, Lekhi had an in-depth review of the bilateral relations with her counterpart, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Co-operation, Francisco Andre. This was followed by the signing of bilateral agreement on the recruitment of Indian citizens to work in Portugal, said the Ministry of External Affairs in a statement.

Portugal is the first European country, with which India has signed a dedicated agreement on labour mobility. This is also the first such agreement signed by Portugal outside the EU. The agreement sets out the procedures for the recruitment of Indian workers and professionals in Portugal and will open up new employment opportunities for Indians further strengthening the socio-economic linkages between the two countries.

Foreign Minister of Portugal, Augusto Santos Silva, hosted a lunch for Lekhi which was also attended by Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Francisco Andre and Secretary of State for Internationalisation Eurico Brilhante Dias.

Silva lauded India's mass vaccination efforts and expressed hope to continue the momentum of high-level bilateral visits between the two countries as the pandemic situation improves. Minister Silva also referred to the successful India-EU Leaders Meeting in Porto in May this year and stressed the early implementation of its outcomes in Brussels, said the Ministry of External Affairs in a statement.

Lekhi called for greater focus on enhancing and diversifying bilateral economic and commercial relations with Portugal and reiterated the urgency regarding mutual recognition of vaccinations and vaccine certificates for resumption of political, business and people-to-people engagements.

In her meeting with the Minister of Culture of Portugal, Graca Fonseca, Lekhi explored avenues of cooperation in the field of cultures such as exchange of youth and literary delegations, establishment of Maritime Heritage Gallery at Lothal under the MoU signed with Portugal in February 2020, capacity building in heritage conservation, archives and museology and training of trainers in related skills.

Lekhi also met the Executive Secretary of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) Zacarias da Costa. This was the first high-level interaction between India and the CPLP, since India's joining the CPLP as an Associate Observer at the Luanda Summit in July 2021. Lekhi conveyed India's commitment towards intensifying cooperation with Lusophone countries as per the expressed objectives of the CPLP.

During the visit, Lekhi also interacted with the Indian diaspora and participated in the 'Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav' celebrations marking the rich cultural heritage of India organised by the Embassy of India in Lisbon. (ANI)

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