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Saturday, 4 June 2016

PM Narendra Modi leaves for five-nation tour

NEW DELHI: With an aim to bolster ties, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today embarked on a five-nation visit to Afghanistan, Qatar, Switzerland, the US and Mexico focus of which will be to enhance India's engagement in areas of trade, energy and security, besides pushing for its membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Modi is likely to seek support of Switzerland and Mexico for India's membership of the 48-member NSG as both these countries are key members of the elite group. The issue is likely to figure during Modi's meeting with Obama in Washington. India has formally applied for membership of the NSG on May 12. "From our immediate neighbourhood to our trans-Atlantic partners. PM @narendramodi emplanes for a 5 nation tour," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted along with a photograph of Modi leaving for the five-day trip. During his talks with the leadership of Switzerland, the Prime Minister is also likely to raise the issue of black money stashed by Indians in Swiss banks. The Prime Minister's first destination is Afghanistan where he will inaugurate the Afghan-India Friendship Dam, earlier known as Salma Dam, in Herat province today, along with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. Both the leaders will also hold talks on a range of issues including current situation in Afghanistan. From Afghanistan, Modi will travel to energy-rich Qatar tomorrow itself and from there he will leave for a two-day visit to Switzerland on Sunday. 

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