President unveils statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Switzerland

President Ram Nath Kovind, unveiled a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Villeneuve, Switzerland today in the presence of Mayor and President of Canton Vaud and other dignitaries.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that Mahatma Gandhi’s life teaches us many things. He built his first hermitage in India on the banks of River Sabarmati. Today, we have brought him to the banks of Lake Geneva. It is a fitting tribute to a man who loved nature and cared so much for it. His legacy shall inspire us as we work together to tackle climate change and to conserve our ecology.

The President said that Mahatma Gandhi believed in the oneness of humanity. He embraced all cultures and all peoples. As two democracies with deep respect for diversity, Mahatma Gandhi shall continue to guide us in our shared journey to bring peace and joy for one and all.

Yesterday, the President led the delegation level talks along with President Ueli Maurer of the Swiss Confederation and witnessed the signing and exchange of MOUs/agreements between two countries. He also addressed the India-Switzerland Business Roundtable.

During the delegation-level talks, both sides agreed that terrorism poses a grave challenge to humanity. President Kovind conveyed that India had been a victim of state sponsored terrorism for decades. The Swiss side extended its support to strengthen fight against terrorism in all its manifestations.

President Kovind said that trade and economic relations constitute the essence of India-Switzerland bilateral ties. Switzerland is the largest exporter to India from Europe. Our bilateral trade volume stands at around US$ 19 billion. He said that India is committed to expand its trading ties further.

The two sides also discussed the sharing of information on tax matters under the Automatic Exchange of Information framework. The sharing of information is scheduled to commence later this month. India and Switzerland signed and exchanged agreements/MOUs for cooperation in the field of Climate Change; Letter of Intent to create an India-Switzerland Science and Innovation Alliance; and for renewal of the Hindi Chair at the University of Lausanne.

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