Terror likely to be top priority of PM Modi in Spain

| Updated: May 31, 2017 03:42 IST

New Delhi [India], May 30 (ANI): Terror is likely to be the top agenda of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Spain visit, where he has major engagements tomorrow. He is the second Indian Prime Minister to visit Spain after almost 30 years. Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was the first Indian Prime Minister who toured Spain in 1988. Since Modi became Prime Minister in 2014, he has been making efforts to unite the world against the threat of terrorism. Apart from business, he is likely to discuss various aspects of terror with Spanish President Mariano Rajoy and Spanish King Felipe VI. Spain has been on the main target of terrorists. It remains at level four of the anti-terror alert - the second highest of a scale of five and the same ranking as the UK. The Islamic State (IS) has vowed to take revenge on Spain after authorities began cracking down on militants and making dozens of terror arrests. Last year Spain carried 36 police operations against potential jihadists and detained 69 persons. Last month, Spain arrested nine Moroccan men in a joint operation with Belgian authorities in connection with last year's bomb attacks on Brussels airport and a metro station in the Belgian capital, which claimed the lives of 32 people and three suicide bombers. The ISIS has a good presence in Spain and reports suggest that the deadly organisation has been recruiting translators and fighters from the country. The separatist elements in Kashmir Valley have a soft corner for the Islamic State and its flag has been spotted in Kashmir. The present scenario in Spain suggests that Prime Minister Modi's Spain visit after 30 long years has much more than it is visible on the ground. India and Spain have 20 bilateral treaties including 2002 extradition treaty. It is expected that both the countries are likely to agree to cooperate on terrorism. Apart from terrorism, Prime Minister Modi is likely to woo the Spanish CEOs and business tycoons when he addresses them at Granados Hall tomorrow. Bilateral trade between India and Spain during the year 2016 stood at US$ 5.22 billion. India´s exports to Spain stood at US$ 3.83 billion and Spain's exports to India at US$ 1.39 billion, thus resulting in a trade balance of US$ 2.44 billion in India´s favour. Spain is India´s 7th largest trading partner in the European Union. Spain is the 12th largest investor in India with $2.32 billion in FDI (April 2000 - December 2016). A total of around 200 Spanish companies have subsidiaries, joint ventures, projects or liaison offices and purchase offices in India. India and Spain will be exchanging bilateral agreements will be exchanged and conclusion of the CEOs Forum will be presented at Antechamber of Building of Council of Ministers at La Moncloa Palace. Prime Minister Modi will depart for Russia tomorrow. (ANI)

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