Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday received the Seoul Peace Prize for 2018 his contribution to international cooperation and fostering global economic growth, PTI reported. The prize was announced by the Seoul Peace Prize Cultural Foundation in October last year.
“The success that India has achieved in the last five years is due to aspirations, inspiration [and] efforts of the people of India,” Modi said. “On their behalf, I accept the award and express my gratitude. I dedicate this award to the 1.3 billion people of India for giving me the opportunity to serve them.”
Modi said he was honoured to receive the award in the year that India celebrates the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
“Like Korea, India has also suffered the pain of division and cross-border strife,” Modi said during his acceptance speech. “Our endeavour towards peaceful development has only too often been derailed by cross-border terrorism.”
The award committee credited Modi for his contribution toward regional and global peace through a proactive policy with countries around the world.
“The time has come for the global community to act beyond talks at this moment and to unite and fight against terrorism,” Modi said on the second and final day of his visit to South Korea. His comments come in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed last week.
South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in had condemned the terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir. “I express my gratitude to President Moon for his condolences on Pulwama attack and support against terror,” Modi said. “We are committed to strengthen the bilateral and international cooperation against terrorism.”
The Union home ministry and South Korean national police agency also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in counter-terrorism efforts. “MoU signed between the two countries today will further take forward our counter-terrorism agenda,” Modi said, according to ANI.
Modi and Moon also held talks on Friday on enhancing bilateral cooperation in trade, investment, defence and security sectors, PTI reported. “South Korea is an important partner in India’s economic transformation,” Modi said. “Our trade and investment are growing.”
Modi said the defence sector was an important part of India’s growing partnership with South Korea.
Modi said India has witnessed “unprecedented transformation” over the past four years. “I hope companies from the Republic of Korea leverage the series of opportunities India offers,” he said.
Modi said India and South Korea have given importance to the start-up sector. “Hence, it is natural to deepen cooperation in start-ups.” The two countries signed seven Memorandum of Understanding during Modi’s visit.
Modi paid tributes to Korean soldiers at the National Cemetery on Friday. The prime minister along with President Moon Jae-in and former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon unveiled a bust of Mahatma Gandhi at the Yonsei University in Seoul on Thursday.