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Spain confers the prestigious Grand Cross of the Order of Civil Merit upon External Affairs Minister of India Smt. Sushma Swaraj

External Affairs Minister of India Smt. Sushma Swaraj was awarded the prestigious Grand Cross of the Order of Civil Merit by Spanish Foreign Minister Mr.Joseph Borrell on behalf of the King Felipe VI. The award is in recognition of India´s swift response through Operation Maitri in the wake of the disastrous Nepal Earthquakes in April 2015. India was instrumental in evacuating 170 people from 15 countries across the world, including 71 Spanish nationals. The ceremony was held at Palacio Viana, the Official Residence of the Foreign Minister of Spain where she was welcomed by Minister Borrell, this being their third meeting in last three months.

India and Spain also held bilateral discussions in areas such as industrial and technological cooperation, civil use of nuclear energy, transport, railways and renewables. The meeting is evidence of increased contact between the Spanish and Indian authorities, in line with this country's growing importance in fostering international stability and security. The ministers were also able to analyse the security situation in the region, especially in view of the most recent terrorist attacks in Kashmir.