India Poland To Boost Defence Ties

Indiaand Poland will hold discussions to strengthen bilateral tiesespecially in the fields of defence and will sign an agreement forcultural exchange programme for 2010-2012.

Prime Minister of Republic of Poland Donald Tusk, who arrived inBangalore on monday on a three-day state visit to India, will holddelegation level talks with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh andwill call on President Pratibha Patil. Tusk is a first non-communistPolish Prime Minister to visit India on an official trip.

After his meeting with Singh, the two sides are expected to sign someagreements including one in the field of cultural exchanges. "Whilenumber of agreements are on table, one which will be signed is oncultural exchanges," Banashri Bose Harrison, Joint Secretary (CentralEurope) in Ministry of External Affairs told .

“In the past, Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi had visited Poland in1955 and 1967 respectively, but no Indian prime minister has gonetoPoland since 1979. In that year Morarji Desai had come on an officialvisit at the invitation of the Communist government. It is surprisingthat no Indian prime minister has come to Poland since the fall ofCommunism in 1989,” said Janusz Krzyzowski, president of theIndia-Polish Cultural Committee.

Indo-Polish trade zoomed to $800 million in 2008 from a small sum of$200 million in 2003. Many important computer companies such as TataConsultany Services and Reliance have made Poland their base in Easternand Central European operations in the last five years. Indian originsteel baron Lakshmi Mittal controls 70 percentage of steel mills inPoland.

On Tuesday morning, Donald Tusk will be given a ceremonial reception at forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan

On his visit he will be meeting External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna,United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Sonia Gandhi ,leader of theOpposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj .

Later, he will be attending a Business Luncheon meet by FICCI/CII/ASSOCHAM .

The Indian delegation for the talks will include Defence Minister A KAntony, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and the ExternalAffairs Minister.

Poland is India's largest trading partner and export destination in theCentral-European region. It has been a member of European Union since2004 and is one of the important gateways into the European Union andCIS.

Poland will assume the Presidency of EU in 2011

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