Jaishankar meets EU leaders; holds talks on economic, social issues

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar being welcomed by European Council President Charles Michel prior to a meeting at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, February 17, 2020.   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar met top leaders of the European Union and held wide-ranging talks on issues, including economic cooperation, climate change and capacity building, that would “benefit both India and EU”.

Mr. Jaishankar, who was in Germany during the weekend for the Munich Security Conference, arrived here on Monday to prepare the ground for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s planned visit for the India-EU summit here next month.

The Foreign Minister met EU Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen and the two leaders discussed experiences in capacity building and development partnerships.

“Coordination on these issues would be to the benefit of both India and EU,” Mr. Jaishankar tweeted.

The Minister also held “positive and productive” parleys at the Foreign Affairs Council of the EU.

“Thank the attending Foreign Ministers, Ambassadors & senior officials and most of all HR (High Representative) @JosepBorrellF. Looking forward to working together to strengthen this key partnership,” he said.

Also read: Jaishankar hits out at countries that criticise government, asks them to introspect on their own actions

Mr. Jaishankar also met EU Commissioner for Trade Phil Hogan and “exchanged views on the prospects for India-EU economic cooperation.”

He appreciated President of the European Council Charles Michel for his vision for the EU and EU-India relations and expressed confident that “his (Michel) leadership can translate that into substantive outcomes.”\

Open discussion

Mr. Jaishankar held a very “engaging” conversation with Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans and the two leaders discussed experiences on sustainability, climate change, environment and innovation.

Mr. Jaishankar also had an open discussion with members of the European Parliament representing a broad spectrum of politics and member states.

“The interaction covered political, economic and social issues. Noted their deep interest in India and our relations with the EU,” he tweeted.

Mr. Jaishankar’s visit comes weeks after the European Parliament postponed until March a vote on a joint motion, combining five different resolutions tabled by its members against India’s Citizenship Amendment Act, which was debated at its Plenary session in Brussels.

During the debate, Helena Dalli, the Vice-President of the European Commission and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, had said the Commission was looking forward to Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Brussels in March for the 15th India-EU Summit.

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Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 8:09:20 AM |

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