Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said India and Italy have decided to elevate their bilateral ties to a strategic partnership, opening a new chapter on defence cooperation. Addressing the media after wide-ranging talks with visiting Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Modi said new opportunities were opening up in India in the sector of co-production and co-development, which can be beneficial for both the countries. "This year India and Italy are celebrating the 75th anniversary of bilateral relations. On this occasion, we have decided to elevate the India-Italy partnership to the status of a strategic partnership," Modi said with the Italian prime minister by his side. Modi explaining that in the defense industry “new opportunities are opening up for co-production and joint developmentfor the benefit of both countries". Furthermore, it was decided to “organize joint exercises and trainings” for the Italian and Indian armed forces, concluded the leader of New Delhi. “Today, we’re announcing the establishment of a ‘Start Up Bridge’ between India and Italy. We welcome this. There is one more sector wherein both the countries are beginning a new chapter, that is – defence cooperation,” he added.
Prime Minister Meloni also spoke of migration, explaining that the agreement between India and Italy "has particular importance". "Its conclusion - he added - will further strengthen relations between peoples", explained the prime minister, adding that the parties also intend to "strengthen cooperation at the higher education level". Giorgia Meloni is on a two-day visit to India. The External Affairs Ministry said that that was PM Meloni’s first visit to India and it would further strengthen and deepen the long-standing relationship between India and Italy.