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Danish foreign minister hopes to improve relations with visit to India

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Danish foreign minister hopes to improve relations with visit to India
File photo: Benjamin Nørskov/Polfot/Ritzau
13:34 CET+01:00
Denmark’s foreign minister Anders Samuelsen is scheduled to visit India as part of an effort to improve cooled relations between the two countries.

Diplomatic bonds between the two countries have suffered serious setbacks in recent years over Denmark’s refusal to extradite suspected gunrunner Niels Holck, known in India as Kim Davy, who is wanted by New Delhi for allegedly delivering weapons to rebel forces in West Bengal in 1995.

A new request for extradition received in December last year is still being processed by Denmark’s attorney general (rigsadvokaten).

But India-Denmark relations appear to have thawed somewhat in recent months.

Anders Samuelsen this week becomes the first Danish foreign minister to visit India since 2010.

In January this year, minister for energy and the environment Lars Christian Lilleholt became the first minister from the Scandinavian to visit India and meet the country’s prime minister.

Last week, minister for innovation Sophie Lohde was also in India to attend an IT conference.

“It is no secret that the relationship has been cooler in recent years. But regardless of the legal process, we are working very hard to re-establish a closer relationship,” Samuelsen told Ritzau in a written comment.

“We are currently seeing demand from India in areas of Danish expertise, such as research, water, sustainable energy, city planning and food,” Andersen said.

“I hope my visit can contribute to this being pushed forward,” he added.

India is an important trade partner for Denmark, the minister continued.

“India is a significant global player, so it is clear that we would like good relations,” Samuelsen, who has previously met Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj, said.

“I think we have a good dialogue and it was my impression that she also wanted to move the dialogue forwards. So I naturally look forward to meeting her again,” he said.

The primary aim of the visit is to strengthen Danish exports to India.

“India is the world’s seventh-largest economy, but Danish exports to India are the same size as our exports to Lithuania. So there is an unfulfilled potential which we must try to take advantage of,” Samuelsen said. 

READ ALSO: Rape film could further hurt Denmark-India ties

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