07 March 2017 Current Affairs:
The Union Cabinet on 6 March 2017 gave its ex-post facto approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Renewable Energy between India and Portugal.
The approval was given at a meeting of the Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
Highlights : The MoU establishes the basis for a cooperative institutional relationship to encourage and promote technical bilateral cooperation on new and renewable issues.
The future partnership will be strengthened on the basis of mutual benefit, equality and reciprocity.
The MoU envisages constitution of a Joint Working Group (JWG), which can include members from scientific institutions, research centers, universities, or any other entity, as and when considered essential.
The MoU will also help in strengthening overall bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
Relations with Portugal today remain close, friendly and devoid of irritants.
Diplomatic relations between India and Portugal were established in 1949.
However, following problems in negotiations over Goa, all diplomatic and consular links were severed in 1 September 1955. Goa was liberated in 1961.
Having overcome the irritants of 1961, the two countries share an excellent political relationship today. Portugal has consistently supported India at multilateral fora, including for a permanent seat at the UNSC. It also supported India in its bid for a non-permanent seat in 2011-12.
Cooperation between India and Portugal is also witnessed in the fact that Portugal agreed to extradite Abu Salem in 2004.
With this, Portugal has become the first European Union nation to agree to extradition to India.
Both the countries signed seven bilateral agreements in January 2017 during the visit of the Prime Minister of Portugal Antonio Costa to India.
During the visit, both the countries released a Joint Declaration on Cooperation in Third Countries. The declaration is in tune with India’s ambition to extend soft power across the globe.