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Narendra Modi, EU’s Von Der Leyen discuss ways to step up trade, tech, security links

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By IANS Updated: Apr 25, 2022 10:10 pm
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Narendra Modi with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen during a meeting, in Delhi. (PTI)

New Delhi, April 25 (IANS): Prime Minister Narendra Modi and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Monday discussed a wide range of regional and global issues while also agreeing to establish an EU-India Trade and Technology Council.

“We reviewed the full range of India-EU ties including economic and cultural linkages,” Modi said.

After the meeting, Von Der Leyen said that strengthening the EU and India partnership is a key priority for this decade. “We will step up cooperation in trade, technology and security,” she said.

It is the 60th anniversary of relations between the EU and India. “Today, our relationship is more important than ever. We have so much in common. We are vibrant democracies, we both support wholeheartedly the rules-based international order and we have both large economies, and we are both facing a challenging global landscape,” she said.

Von Der Leyen stressed that for the European Union, the partnership with India is one of the most important relationships for the coming decade and strengthening this partnership is a priority.

“And here, I am thinking of three main topics – trade, technology and security. That is why I am pleased that today Prime Minister Modi and I have agreed to establish an EU-India Trade and Technology Council. The EU has only one TTC so far – with the US, and I think it is telling that we now establish the second one with India. Also because India is technologically a powerhouse, and in the trade sector we need to unleash an enormous amount of untapped potential,” she said.

She said that she is glad that negotiations towards comprehensive trade and investment agreements have started.

“And yesterday, on another important topic that we share – climate change… I spent an exciting day at the International Solar Alliance. Energy security is one of the most pressing topics for India as well as Europe. The EU will diversify away from fossil fuels and will invest heavily in clean renewable energy. Therefore, cooperation with India not only on solar but also on green hydrogen is critical,” she said.

Von Der Leyen had also met External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and discussed ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation.

She arrived in India for a two-day official visit on Sunday to strengthen the India-EU strategic partnership. This was her first visit to India as the President of the European Commission.

What happens in Ukraine will have impact on Indo-Pacific — Ursula

Europe will make sure that Russia’s “unprovoked and unjustified” aggression against Ukraine will be a “strategic failure”, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Monday.

In her address at the Raisina Dialogue in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the visiting leader also said what happens in Ukraine will have an impact on the Indo-Pacific region.

She said the world’s response to Russia’s aggression will decide the future of both the international system and the global economy.

The outcome of Russia’s war against Ukraine will not only determine the future of Europe, but will also deeply affect the Indo-Pacific region and the rest of the world, von der Leyen said.

Slamming Moscow for its war on Ukraine, she said images coming from the east European country have shocked and are shocking the whole world, adding that the core principles that underpin peace and security across the globe are at stake, in Asia as well as in Europe.

The European Commission president also referred to the “no-limits” friendship between Russia and China.

“Russia and China have forged a seemingly unrestrained pact. They have declared that the friendship between them has no limits,” she said.

6091
By IANS Updated: Apr 25, 2022 10:10:24 pm