Argentina, India to explore cooperation in hockey, other fields

New Delhi, June 17 (IANS) After football, hockey could be another field for possible cooperation in training between Argentina and India, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said Monday after talks with visiting Argentinian Foreign Minister Hector Timerman here.

Addressing a joint media conference after the talks, Khurshid said both countries have vast scope for cooperation in sport and youth affairs.

“Argentine football players (Diego) Maradona and (Lionel) Messi had visited India in recent times and are household names in India. Their visits have stimulated interest in soccer in India. Hockey is another sport which is common to our two countries and we could look for cooperation in training and exchanges of coaches,” he said.

Khurshid said both sides have also exchanged views on regional developments and multilateral issues.

“They have shared understanding on the need for taking common approaches for international peace and security. Argentina is currently holding non-permanent membership of UNSC and India wishes to work closely with Argentina on the reform of the UN and other multilateral financial institutions.

“Our two sides also agreed to be in regular contact in the context of G-20 to defend the interests of developing countries,” he said.

He welcomed Timerman on his first ever bilateral visit to India for the 4th round of India-Argentina Joint Commission meeting.

Khurshid said the Joint Commission meeting focused on several areas of bilateral relations including trade and economy; science and technology, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, market access issues, defence, energy and space. The two sides also exchanged views on regional developments and multilateral issues.

Both sides also reiterated their interest to expand the scope of trade and investments. The bilateral trade at $1.83 billion, is short of the trade target of $3 billion set up by the two sides in October 2009 during the visit of the Argentine president, he said.

Khurshid said the joint commission agreed to tackle trade barriers such as regulatory frame works, market access issues, high tariffs, visa and work permits. The two sides further reiterated their determination to strengthen on going cooperation in agriculture, pharmaceuticals, textiles, energy and mining.

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