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India, Cyprus sign 4 agreements

India and Cyprus on Friday signed four agreements, including on air services and merchant shipping, following delegation-level talks headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades here.

“Advancing a multifaceted partnership. The two leaders witness exchange of four agreements after delegation talks and working luncheon,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay tweeted.

The two sides signed an executive programme on culture, education and scientific cooperation for the years 2017 to 2020.

Both sides signed a work plan under a programme of cooperation in agriculture for the period 2017-2018.

Another agreement was signed on cooperation in the area of merchant shipping.

A fourth agreement was signed to boost air services between the two countries.

Earlier in the day, the Cypriot President was given a ceremonial guard of honour in the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Anastasiades also paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat and described him as a “spiritual leader of Cyprus and inspiration for its freedom struggle”.

Following this, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on the visiting dignitary.

Ansastasiades will confer Cyprus’s highest civilian honour, the Grand Collar of the Order of Makarios III, on President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday evening when the latter will host a banquet in honour of the visiting delegation.

Anastasiades, who arrived in Mumbai on Tuesday, will depart from New Delhi on Saturday.

This is his first visit to India since he became the President in 2013.

Cyprus, the eighth largest foreign investor in India, has cumulative foreign direct investment of about $9 billion in areas of financial leasing, stock exchange, auto manufacture, manufacturing industries, real estate, cargo handling, construction, shipping and logistics.

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