Current Affairs – April 2012 Bilateral Affairs
- The Union Cabinet on 26 April 2012 in a meeting headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singhapproved the signing of a new liberal visa regime with Pakistan thereby paving way for easing travel restrictions and increasing people-to-people exchange. India and Pakistan had decided to ease visa regulations during the meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari in New Delhi on 8 April 2012.
- India and Germany on 10 April 2012 decided to promote bilateral cooperation in the field of sustainable urban development through exploration of solutions to problems of mutual concern. A joint declaration to this effect was signed at a meeting in New Delhi between Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath and his German counterpart Peter Ramsauer. The Joint Declaration envisages promoting discussion and strategies on integrated policies and principles for urban development and revitalization in the two nations.
- India and Qatar on 9 April 2012 signed six agreements, including a pact on cooperation in oil and gas exploration. The agreements were signed in New Delhi during the visit of Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al- Thani. Both the leaders had discussions on a range of issues, including boosting trade and investment as well as energy ties between the two countries. Issues relating to the welfare of Indian workers in the Gulf country were also discussed. A memorandum of Understanding was also signed between the Reserve Bank of India and Qatar Central Bank.
- India and UAE signed an agreement on 4 April 2012 to ease the entry of Indian contract workers in the Emirates. The agreement was signed in Abu Dhabi, UAE. It provides for an electronic contract registration and validation system to safeguard and protect the interests of migrant Indian workers. The move would ensure a transparent, legal and less cumbersome migration of Indian workers to the Emirates. India is the first country with which the United Arab Emirates has entered into the landmark agreement to safeguard the interests of the migrant Indian workers to the Emirates.
- In the visit of Brazil President Dilma Rouseff, India and Brazil on 30 March agreed to step up efforts towards global reforms, particularly of the U.N. Security Council. The two countries also agreed to further strengthen the bilateral strategic partnership and exploit full potential in areas such as trade, education, defence, space and nuclear energy. Two countries also set a trade target of 15 billion dollars by 2015. The two sides also signed six documents to enhance cooperation in the fields of science and technology, education and culture.