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India, EU agree to combat terror, talk on free trade

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  7 Oct 2017 12:00 AM GMT

New Delhi, Oct 6: India and the European Union on Friday 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 also adopted a joint statement against terrorism.

“We have agreed to work together against terrorism and expand security cooperation in this regard,” Prime Minister rendra Modi said in a joint address to the media along with European Council President Dold Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker after delegation-level talks here.

On his part, Tusk said both sides adopted a joint declaration on counter-terrorism “to deal effectively with the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters, terror fincing and arms supply”. “We agreed to cooperate in security in the Indian Ocean region and beyond,” he said.

According to the India-EU Joint Statement on Cooperation in Combating Terrorism, the leaders “strongly condemned recent heinous terrorist attacks in India and the member states of the European Union and reaffirmed their determition to jointly combat terrorism and violent extremism in all their forms and manifestations irrespective of their motivations, wherever and by whomever they are committed”.

“Condemning the recent terror attacks in Pathankot, Uri, grota, Antg (Amarth Yatra), Srigar, Paris, Brussels, Nice, Berlin, London, Stockholm, Manchester, Barcelo, Turku, and other terrorist attacks and recalling the November 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, the leaders called for the perpetrators of these attacks to be brought to justice,” the statement said in an obvious reference to Pakistan.

“They further called for greater unity, stronger intertiol partnership and concerted action by the intertiol community in addressing the mece of terrorism.”

According to the statement, both sides called early conclusion of negotiations and the adoption of the India-initiated Comprehensive Convention on Intertiol Terrorism in the UN. Stating that the EU continues to be India’s largest trading partner, Modi, in his address to the media, said the 28-tion bloc was also one of the largest investors in India. A Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) between India and the EU has been hanging fire for 11 years now despite 16 rounds of negotiations. Briefing the media here, Ruchi Ghashyam, Secretary (West) in the Ministry of Exterl Affairs, said that the next round of talks for the BTIA will be held on November 13-14.

Both India and the EU also expressed deep concern at the recent spate of violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state that has triggered the outflow of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya people into neighbouring Bangladesh.

“Both sides recognised the need for ending the violence and restoring normalcy in the Rakhine state without any delay.”

India and the EU also expressed support to the government and the people of Afghanistan in their efforts to achieve an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned tiol peace and reconciliation. Both India and the EU condemned the nuclear test conducted by North Korea on September 3 and said it was another direct and ucceptable violation of that country’s intertiol commitments. India and the EU signed three agreements following Friday’s talks: between European Commission and the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) for Indian researchers. (IANS)

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