COVID-19 hits Modi’s travel plan: India-EU summit in Brussels deferred

The rapid spread of coronavirus across Europe has hit travel plans of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Brussels, leading to the cancellation of the planned India-EU summit in the Belgian capital.

India and the 27-nation European Union were scheduled to hold their 17th summit in Brussels on March 13. However, in view of the threat of coronavirus, the Indian government has decided to defer the India-EU summit.

“With regard to the proposed India-EU Summit, both sides have agreed that due to health authorities advising against travel between regions, it would be wise to re-schedule the Summit to a later mutually convenient date,” Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson of India’s Ministry of External Affairs, told journalists in New Delhi on March 5.

“The decision has been taken in the spirit of the close cooperation between India and the EU who share the same concerns and commitment to global health and hope that the outbreak is contained soon,” he said.

The 27-nation EU is the largest trading partner of India. India-EU summit was expected to focus on enhancing security and economic relations between the two sides.

However, COVID-19 has not affected Mr Modi’s proposed travel to Dhaka on March 17 to attend the centenary celebrations of Bangladesh’s founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.


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