BRUSSELS: In the aftermath of the Brussels terror attacks, India and the European Union (EU) will be looking to step up their counter-terror cooperation, which will be a key theme at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s summit with the EU leaders on March 30.
With the rise of terror groups like the Islamic State (IS), which engineered the November 13 terror attack in Paris and March 22 attack in Paris, India and EU will focus on how to deal with this terror monster which is unleashing mayhem across the globe. India is also apprehensive of a terror attack by the IS. Against this backdrop, the India-EU Joint Working Group on counter terrorism is expected to intensify cooperation in the wake of the recent terror attacks in Brussels, Paris and Pathankot.
“In the light of recent terror attacks, understandably there is a renewed focus and emphasis on cooperation in counterterrorism. This will be certainly on the agenda for discussion. What will also be on the agenda for discussion is how do we deepen and expand this cooperation with the EU as an entity? A big part of this summit would be to see how our institutional relationships with the EU can compliment, supplement and strengthen our bilateral partnerships in such priority areas with our key EU partners,” India’s External Affairs Ministry, Joint Secretary (Europe West) Nandini Singhla said ahead of the summit on March 28. Mr Modi leaves for Brussels on March 29, the first leg of his three-nation tour, which also includes the US and Saudi Arabia.
India and the 28-nation EU, New Delhi’s largest trading partner and source of investment, are holding the summit after four years. India has entered into pacts on counter-terrorism with select countries in the EU like Britain, France and Germany. This time, the focus will be on devising new mechanism and activating intelligence-sharing with the EU.
Europe has been on a high alert in recent months following the Paris terror attacks.
India has been pushing for a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) in various international for a, which is expected to gain a fresh traction in the wake of recent terror attacks in Europe and elsewhere. At the summit, India will be seeking EU’s support for CCIT.
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