Prime Minister Narendra Modi has underlined the importance of looking at the concerns of the small and island states in the Commonwealth. 

He announced a number of initiatives in the direction which include doubling of India’s contribution for Common Fund for Sustainable Development Goals, taking up small projects in the small countries through the permanent mission for the UN, capacity building and training programmes in areas including cricket and skill development. 

Briefing media in London last night, after the formal executing sessions, Secretary West, Ministry of External Affairs, Ruchi Ghanshyam said that, India focused on achieving sustainable development goals and climate change issues during its interventions at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, CHOGM, which began yesterday. 

Replying to a question, she said promoting youth activities among Commonwealth countries was also focussed and India has announced to provide training to 30 boys and 30 girls cricketers. He further said, the under 16 youth cricketers will be

provided training through BCCI.

Meanwhile, on the sidelines of the CHOGM, Prime Minister Modi held a series of bilateral interactions with member-countries including Australia, Bangladesh, South Africa, Gambia, Trindad and Tobago and Mauritius. 

External Affairs Ministry official spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that these interactions and bilateral discussions mainly focused on development, maritime and security concerns of the small states.The spokesperson said, India and Bangladesh focused mainly on development cooperation during the bilateral talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheik Hasina. 

He said, broad contours of the discussions were the action plans that the two sides agreed during their earlier visits to each other’s country and now discussed their follow-ups and how to further them. 

MEA Spokesperson said Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not meet his Pakistani counterpart Shahid Khaqan Abbasi at the CHOGM.

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