India's president calls for defense cooperation with Czechs

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Czech President Milos Zeman, Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and his spouse Savita Kovind, from right, listen to national anthems during a welcoming ceremony at the Prague Castle on Friday, Sept. 7, 2018. Ram Nath Kovind is on his four-day official visit to the Czech Republic. (Michal Kamaryt/CTK via AP)

India's president says there's a significant potential for cooperation in the defense industry between his country and the Czech Republic.

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Speaking in Prague Friday after meeting his Czech counterpart Milos Zeman, Indian President Ram Nath Kovind called on Czech defense firms to come to India to create joint venture companies.

Kovind says he believes the economic ties between the two countries will be bolstered further by a planned trip next year of Czech government ministers to India.

Kovind also expressed his appreciation to Zeman for his backing of the idea that India deserves to become a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council.

Zeman says both are worried by the situation in Pakistan, India's neighbor and rival.

Kovind also visited Cyprus and Bulgaria as part of a 3-nation European tour.