The Union Cabinet on 6 March 2017 gave its ex-post facto approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Renewable Energy between India and Portugal.
The approval was given at a meeting of the Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
Highlights of India-Portual MoU on Renewable Energy
• The MoU establishes the basis for a cooperative institutional relationship to encourage and promote technical bilateral cooperation on new and renewable issues.
• The future partnership will be strengthened on the basis of mutual benefit, equality and reciprocity.
• The MoU envisages constitution of a Joint Working Group (JWG), which can include members from scientific institutions, research centers, universities, or any other entity, as and when considered essential.
• The MoU will also help in strengthening overall bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
Overview of India-Portugal relations
• Relations with Portugal today remain close, friendly and devoid of irritants.
• Diplomatic relations between India and Portugal were established in 1949.
• However, following problems in negotiations over Goa, all diplomatic and consular links were severed in 1 September 1955. Goa was liberated in 1961.
• Having overcome the irritants of 1961, the two countries share an excellent political relationship today. Portugal has consistently supported India at multilateral fora, including for a permanent seat at the UNSC. It also supported India in its bid for a non-permanent seat in 2011-12.
• Cooperation between India and Portugal is also witnessed in the fact that Portugal agreed to extradite Abu Salem in 2004.
• With this, Portugal has become the first European Union nation to agree to extradition to India.
• Both the countries signed seven bilateral agreements in January 2017 during the visit of the Prime Minister of Portugal Antonio Costa to India.
• During the visit, both the countries released a Joint Declaration on Cooperation in Third Countries. The declaration is in tune with India’s ambition to extend soft power across the globe.