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Ireland Aims to Strengthen Economic and Cultural Ties with India in Renewed Asia-Pacific Strategy, says Deputy Prime Minister

Deputy Prime Minister Micheal Martin has expressed the Irish government’s intention to deepen its robust economic and cultural relationship with India as part of the recently launched Asia-Pacific strategy. Ireland’s initial goal of achieving €100 billion in trade with the region by 2025 has already been surpassed two years ahead of schedule.

Martin highlighted the already strong economic and cultural ties with India and emphasised the desire to further enhance these connections. The Deputy Prime Minister, also serving as Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, noted the importance of the Asia-Pacific strategy in supporting Ireland’s ambitions for expansion in the region, contributing to global economic growth.

As part of the renewed strategy, India holds a key position, with efforts including the establishment of a new Consulate General in Mumbai to broaden Ireland’s presence in the region. Responding to a question about the recent withdrawal of Canadian diplomats from India and the supportive stance of the US and UK, Martin emphasised the need for both countries to engage and find a resolution to the issue.

While acknowledging that Ireland does not mediate between major countries, Martin expressed confidence that India and Canada would eventually resolve their differences. He recognised the challenging nature of the situation but expressed optimism that, over time, the issues would evolve and moderate through diplomatic engagement.

When questioned about addressing specific issues like Manipur and Kashmir directly with India, Martin underscored Ireland’s commitment to approaching matters through a human rights lens, particularly in the context of its upcoming election to the UN Human Rights Council. He emphasised the fundamental obligation of all states to uphold freedom of expression, opinion, and fundamental rights.

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