In the backdrop of the terror attack in Uri and the surgical strikes undertaken by the Indian Army on terrorist camps across the LoC, Vice President Hamid Ansari on Saturday said he would discuss the issue of terrorism with the leaders of Hungary and Algeria during his visit to the two countries.
Addressing the accompanying media on board as he flew to Budapest, the first destination in his five-day foreign visit, Ansari said, “The question of fight against terrorism is a universal subject. It will figure in our discussions with both the countries.”
The vice president was answering a question on whether he would take up the issue of cross-border terrorism and the role of Pakistan in it in his bilateral meetings with the leaders of the two countries.
To another question on whether he was carrying any special message from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the leaders of Hungary and Algeria, he said every visit is a carefully prepared visit, with a careful message from one government to another government.
Ansari arrived in Budapest on Saturday, Hungary being the first leg of the five-day trip. He will leave for Algiers on October 17, and will head back to India on October 19.
In his opening remarks on the significance of the visit, Ansari emphasised the strong cultural and political relations that India has had with the two countries and noted that of late, the bilateral contacts with these two nations have been limited. The visit, he said, aimed at pumping new energy into the relations.
He spoke about the rich tradition that Hungary has had of studying India, and also recalled the role played by the Indian embassy in the Hungarian revolution in 1956.
On more contemporary issues, Ansari said Hungary had a huge potential to act as a launch pad for Indian companies to operate in Europe. He said that a number of Indian companies of high profile have already made Budapest their headquarters.
India will ink two agreements with Hungary during the visit. One of them is an MoU on water management. The second agreement is on cooperation between the Indian Council of World Affairs and its Hungarian counterpart.
He said it will also be of interest to learn from Hungary the Central European point of view on the developments in Europe over the last few months.
Ansari would visit a town outside Budapest which Rabindranath Tagore had visited. He will also deliver a lecture to students at the university in Budapest on the achievements and challenges of Indian democracy.
Talking about his forthcoming trip to Algeria, he said the North African country was important for India because of its status as a major source of oil and gas. The visit will aim to further India’s efforts in oil diplomacy. Moreover, India is exploring the possibility of setting up a fertiliser plant, as a joint venture, in Algeria, which has rich phosphate reserves.
He said India could also cooperate with Algeria in counter-terrorism efforts, noting that the North African nation has dealt with the problem of domestic terrorism very efficiently.