External Affairs Minister Jaishankar Meets EU Leaders Ahead of PM’s Visit

Foreign Affairs

Brussels: Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit for the India-European Union Summit in Brussels next month, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar met top leaders of the European Union to prepare the ground.

He held wide-ranging talks on issues including economic cooperation, climate change and capacity building that would “benefit both India and EU”.

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Dr Jaishankar was in Germany during the weekend for the Munich Security Conference.

The External Affairs 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,” 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.

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 confidence that “his (Michel) leadership can translate that into substantive outcomes.”

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.

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.

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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