The situation in Ukraine and the Indo-Pacific figured prominently in talks between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his visiting Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio on Friday even as the two sides agreed to explore partnerships in areas like gas transportation, green hydrogen, biofuels and energy storage.
The two foreign ministers noted the potential for a closer India-Italy industrial collaboration in the defence sector and vowed to work closely in countering common challenges of terrorism, violent extremism and cybercrimes.
Di Maio arrived in India on Wednesday on a three-day visit against the backdrop of the Ukraine-Russia conflict.
"On Ukraine, the two ministers expressed their concern on the ongoing humanitarian crisis and called for an immediate cessation of hostilities," a joint press statement on the Jaishankar-Di Maio talks said.
"They also underlined the importance to safeguard the international order based on the UN Charter, with special regard to the respect of sovereignty and territorial integrity," it said.
The statement said the two foreign ministers also exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interests, including Afghanistan and the Indo-Pacific, and cooperation in multilateral forums such as the G20.
It said Jaishankar and Di Maio reviewed the full spectrum of bilateral relations, including the progress in the implementation of the 2020-2024 'Action Plan' adopted in November 2020.
According to the statement, both sides welcomed the growing bilateral trade and investment linkages and agreed to expand them in new areas of common interest.
The two foreign ministers also discussed the implementation of the India-Italy Strategic Partnership on Energy Transition announced last year during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Italy.
The statement said the two sides agreed to explore partnerships in areas such as gas transportation, green hydrogen, biofuels and energy storage.
"In addition, they agreed to jointly organise an India-Italy Tech Summit on Energy Transition and Circular Economy, to be held in Delhi on 17 November 2022," it said.
"The two leaders noted the potential for closer industrial collaboration, including in the field of defence. They reiterated their commitment to closely work in countering common challenges related to terrorism, violent extremism and cyber crime," it added.