BRUSSELS: India and the 28-nation European Union have resolved to step up their counter-terror cooperation, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi underlining solidarity with Belgium in the wake of the recent terror attacks, and making it clear that India will never bow to terrorism.
The March 22 terror attacks in Brussels figured prominently in talks between the leaders of India and the EU at their summit on March 30 in Brussels. Underscoring solidarity with Belgium, Mr Modi expressed its desire to scale up cooperation with the EU in the area of counter terrorism. The savage attacks in Brussels killed around 35 people and injured hundreds. The Indian leader visited the Maalbeek metro station and laid a wreath in homage to those who were killed in last weeks terror attacks in Brussels. Raghavendran Ganeshan, an Indian national, was among those killed in the terror attack at the Maalbeek station.
Terrorism also dominated his spirited address to the Indian community in Brussels. So many nations have suffered due to terrorism. Terrorism is not a challenge to a nation, it’s a challenge to humanity. All powers who believe in humanity have to come together to fight terror. There is no question of bending in front of terrorism, he said,
India has never bowed before terrorism, and there is no question of bending. But the challenge is a huge one. I have spoken to many important leaders, including religious ones, and explained them of the need to delink terror from religion. No religion teaches terrorism,” he said.
Transforming economic ties
In his wide-ranging talks with Donald Tusk, President of the European Commission, and European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker, Mr Modi also focused on galvanising the economic relationship between India and the EU. The two sides decided to display flexibility in resolving contentious issues relating to India-EU Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA). In a significant boost for Indias infrastructure ambitions, a pact was signed between European Investment Bank (EIB) and India towards building the Lucknow metro rail. The EIB will provide an assistance of 450 million euros for the project.
During the meeting Mr Modi had EIB chief Werner Hoyer, the two discussed the possibility of EIB investing in other infrastructure projects in India and cooperation in the areas of affordable housing and renewable energy.
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