Last six months ‘remarkable’ in India-EU relationship, says EAM Jaishankar

In the light of the recent India-EU Leaders’ Meeting, External Affairs Minister (EAM) S. Jaishankar on Wednesday said that the last six months of India-EU ties have been remarkable in which various important decisions were made including the resumption of negotiations on the Trade and Investment Agreement between the two sides.

Speaking during a session at the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) on the “Future of India-EU relations”, Jaishankar said: “It has been a remarkable six months with our relationship with the EU. And I would be less than honest if I didn’t begin by thanking the Portuguese the presidency.”

In the presence of the Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva, EAM Jaishankar noted that India-EU has crossed the threshold and we have seen more momentum.

“We had a very important virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and all the EU leaders. We made some important decisions. One is the resumption of negotiations on the Trade and Investment agreement,” he said adding that it was not a capricious or purely diplomatic decision. “A lot of work went into it. We reached a stage, where we felt confident to do so.”

Further talking about the growing connectivity partnership between India and EU, EAM said, “EU engaged much more with our part of the world by looking very seriously at the Indo-Pacific outlook. Today what is happening between India and EU is that we are both looking for — in a sense — a new level of relationship, which reflects a much more multipolar world.”

Answering the question on the impact of growing China on the geopolitical landscape, he said, “I will argue that in the 25 years, the rise of China has been one of the defining transformational trends. It is something which everybody would take into account.”

In the India-EU Leaders’ Meeting held virtually last month, leaders of both sides discussed and agreed on several issues, such as an inclusive rules-based multilateralism for tackling global challenges, the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, trade and investment, among others.

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