India Poland To Boost Defence Ties

India and Poland will hold discussions to strengthen bilateral ties especially in the fields of defence and will sign an agreement for cultural exchange programme for 2010-2012.

Prime Minister of Republic of Poland Donald Tusk, who arrived in Bangalore on monday on a three-day state visit to India, will hold delegation level talks with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh and will call on President Pratibha Patil. Tusk is a first non-communist Polish Prime Minister to visit India on an official trip.

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

“In the past, Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi had visited Poland in 1955 and 1967 respectively, but no Indian prime minister has goneto Poland since 1979. In that year Morarji Desai had come on an official visit at the invitation of the Communist government. It is surprising that no Indian prime minister has come to Poland since the fall of Communism in 1989,” said Janusz Krzyzowski, president of the India-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 Tata Consultany Services and Reliance have made Poland their base in Eastern and Central European operations in the last five years. Indian origin steel baron Lakshmi Mittal controls 70 percentage of steel mills in Poland.

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 the Opposition 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 K Antony, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and the External Affairs Minister.

Poland is India's largest trading partner and export destination in the Central-European region. It has been a member of European Union since 2004 and is one of the important gateways into the European Union and CIS.

Poland will assume the Presidency of EU in 2011

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