India and Spain on Wednesday stressed that there should be “zero tolerance” to terrorism and called on the international community to end “selective or partial” approaches in combating the menace, which poses the gravest threat to international peace and stability. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the first Indian prime minister to visit Spain since 1992, met the European country’s top leaders. They stressed that states and entities — which encourage, support, finance terrorism, provide sanctuary to terrorists, and glorify terrorism — should be subjected to international laws including restrictive measures. “President Rajoy and Prime Minister Modi recognised that terrorism poses the gravest threat to international peace and stability and expressed their strong commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” a joint statement said. The prime minister held wide-ranging talks with President of the Spain Mariano Rajoy at the Moncloa Palace and invited Spanish firms to invest in India, which offered “many opportunities” for them in various fields. After the talks, the two sides signed seven agreements, including pacts on transfer of sentenced persons and visa waiver for holders of diplomatic passports.
Five agreements were signed between the two countries on cooperation in organ transplantation, cyber security, renewable energy, civil aviation and one between India’s Foreign Service Institute and Diplomatic Academy of Spain.The two sides also issued a joint statement, in which the two leaders welcomed the recent positive developments in bilateral trade and investment partnership, buoyed by the positive economic outlook in both countries and called for stronger ties between the businesses of the two countries. Spain is the 12th largest investor in India and the seventh largest trading partner in the European Union. There are more than 200 Spanish companies in India that are actively involved in road construction projects, railways, wind power, water desalination, defence and smart cities. There are more than 40 Indian companies in Spain, in the fields of technology, pharmaceuticals, automotive and energy. Two-way trade totalled $5.27 billion in 2016. Rajoy welcomed the efforts of India to provide a positive business environment for foreign companies and to further international investment, for which, adequate protection of investments and legal certainty are instrumental. He also emphasised the importance that Spain attaches in the coming months to solid progress on the India-EU Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement, which may facilitate further Spanish and European investments in India.