AMBASSADOR-DESIGNATE of the Republic of India to the Philippines Shambhu S. Kumaran paid a virtual courtesy call on Secretary of Foreign Affairs (SFA) Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. on September 17.
Both took stock of the state of Philippine-Indian relations, as they acknowledged the high degree of engagement across all fronts, and the impetus generated by the state visit of Indian President Ram Nath Kovind last year.
The two diplomats reaffirmed their governments’ commitment to further boost overall ties and cooperation in the areas of security, trade and investment, agriculture as well as information and technology. Particular emphasis was given to cooperation in health and pharmaceuticals, especially in addressing challenges brought about by the pandemic.
For his part, the SFA took the occasion to thank India for its support to the Philippine government and the Philippine Embassy in New Delhi in the repatriation of Filipinos from India. To date, more than 800 Filipinos have been repatriated, many of whom were accommodated in flights chartered by the Indian government.
Kumaran likewise expressed appreciation to the Philippine government for the positive and timely facilitation of the repatriation of Indian nationals stranded locally through the Vande Bharat missions.
In 2019, the Philippines and India celebrated 70 years of diplomatic relations, which date back to November 16, 1949.
Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for Asian and Pacific Affairs Meynardo LB. Montealegre, Executive Director for Asian and Pacific Affairs Josel F. Ignacio and Director for South and Central Asia Anna Marie C. Santos joined Locsin during the virtual courtesy call.
The Indian envoy arrived in Manila on July 31 as a successor to Jaideep Mazumdar.