Indian Ambassador H.E. Shambhu S. Kumaran Pays Courtesy Call on President Simina

PALIKIR, Federated States of Micronesia -  On February 19, 2024, H.E. Shambhu S. Kumaran, Ambassador of the Republic of India to the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), based in Manila, made his inaugural visit to the FSM and paid a courtesy call on His Excellency, President Wesley W. Simina, marking a significant step in the bilateral relations between India and FSM.

Ambassador Kumaran, who assumed office on August 26, 2020, presented his credentials virtually to President Panuelo, demonstrating India's commitment to strengthening ties with the FSM even amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. This visit to Palikir represents Ambassador Kumaran's first official engagement with President Simina and the FSM government.

During the courtesy call, President Simina warmly welcomed Ambassador Kumaran to Palikir and expressed gratitude for his visit during these unprecedented times. President Simina conveyed sincere appreciation to the Government of India for dispatching Mrs. Pooja V. Vernekar, Second Secretary of the Embassy of India, to participate in the Joint Inauguration in July of last year.

Acknowledging the signing of the Visa Waiver Agreement between the two countries for Diplomatic and Official Passport Holders, President Simina expressed hope for further facilitation of exchanges by extending the visa waiver to Ordinary Passport holders, enabling more robust people-to-people interactions.

President Simina emphasized the significance of promoting FSM-India exchanges, including the establishment of an Honorary Consul in India. He assured Ambassador Kumaran of the Department of Foreign Affairs' commitment to collaborate closely with the Embassy on this matter.

Highlighting India's successful co-hosting of the 3rd Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) in May 2023, President Simina expressed interest in attending the next FIPIC and reaffirmed FSM's commitment to the 12-Point Action Plan announced by Prime Minister Modi, particularly in areas such as healthcare, technology, and regional development.

President Simina underscored the importance of climate change as a top priority for the FSM and the Pacific region, expressing eagerness to enhance cooperation with India in addressing this existential threat.

Expressing gratitude for India's support of the FSM's hosting of the UN Multi-Country Office in the North Pacific region, President Simina reiterated FSM's commitment to supporting UN reform efforts, including the permanent membership of the G4 countries in the UN Security Council.

In conclusion, President Simina invited Ambassador Kumaran to visit other FSM states to explore additional avenues of cooperation and expressed hope for future visits to India to further strengthen bilateral ties.

Ambassador Kumaran expressed his appreciation for the warm welcome and fruitful discussions with President Simina, reaffirming India's commitment to deepening the partnership with FSM for the mutual benefit of both nations.

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