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India reaffirms united stand with EU against global security challenges

India reaffirms united stand with EU against global security challenges
June 22
11:21 2018

New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) India and the European Union (EU) stands united in the face of global peace and security challenges, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has said while addressing the Indian diaspora in Belgium.

“Today, in the midst of complex challenges to global peace and security, India and the European Union stand shoulder to shoulder, united by our shared values and principles,” she said while speaking at a community reception organised in her honour as part of “A Night of India in Belgium” at the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels on Thursday.

Recalling the 14th India-EU Summit held in October last year here between Prime Minister Narendra Modi, European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker, she said both sides have achieved considerable progress in many areas of their cooperation.

Sushma Swaraj said India looks forward to the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit which is scheduled to be held in October 2018, where Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu will be leading the Indian delegation.

“We are confident that such regular engagements between India and the European Union at the highest political levels will further enhance our excellent partnership,” she said, according to a copy of her speech which was released by the External Affairs Ministry here.

ASEM is an Asian-European political dialogue forum to enhance relations and various forms of cooperation between its partners.

India and the EU agreed to cooperate in the fight against terrorism while deciding to resume talks on a free trade agreement at the 14th India-EU Summit here.

Both sides agreed to cooperate on global issues and work together on climate change.

While the EU is India’s largest trading partner, the 28-nation bloc is also one of the largest investors in India.

At last year’s India-EU Summit, both sides agreed to a timely relaunch of negotiations for the proposed Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA).

Negotiations for the BTIA started in 2007 but were put on hold in 2015. In all, 16 rounds of negotiations have been held.

Sushma Swaraj arrived here on Wednesday on the fourth and final leg of her week-long four-nation nation tour of Europe that also saw her visiting Italy, France and Luxembourg.

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