India, Italy ink pacts

Terrorism, trade and connectivity dominated talks between Narendra Modi and Italian PM Paolo Gentiloni, the first Italian PM to visit India since 2007, as both countries picked up the threads of a fractured relationship.

At the end of talks, India and Italy signed six pacts, including in the energy and trade sectors. Significantly, the two sides carefully stayed away from the Italian marines issue which has soured bilateral relationship for the past decade. Regional and multilateral political and security issues took up the bulk of the discussions. Addressing a joint media event, Modi said they discussed wide-ranging issues, including the challenges posed by terrorism and cyber crimes, while agreeing to enhance cooperation to counter them.

Addressing the issue of terrorism and Syria, Gentiloni said the international community should start talks with Bashar Assad to enable Syrian refugees from around Europe to return. He added that India should play a decisive role in fighting terrorism, though by the very fact of its stability India, he said, stands as an example.

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