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Sushma Swaraj meets Belgian deputy PM, EU counterpart

Swaraj met Belgian deputy Prime Minister and foreign minister Didier Reynders, and EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy Federica Mogherini to discuss a range of issues including counterterrorism, maritime security, trade and investment and also exchanged views on regional and global issues.

india Updated: Jun 23, 2018 11:02 IST
Sushma Swaraj,Didier Reynders,Federica Mogherini
European foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini (R) and Minister of Foreign Affairs of India Sushma Swaraj (C) look at the "Indian diaspora in the European Union" exhibition in EEAS Atrium at the EU headquarters in Brussels. (/AFP PHOTO )

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj met Belgian deputy Prime Minister and foreign minister Didier Reynders on Saturday and they carried out a comprehensive review of bilateral ties and exchanged views on regional and multilateral issues.

On the last leg of her four-nation tour, Swaraj arrived in Belgium on Wednesday after visiting France, Italy and Luxembourg respectively.

“Celebrating 70 years of our excellent bilateral relations! EAM Sushma Swaraj warmly welcomed by the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Belgium Didier Reynders on her arrival at Egmont Palace,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

In another tweet he said, “Delegation-level talks led by EAM Sushma Swaraj and Didier Reynders. Both leaders undertook a comprehensive review of our bilateral relationship and exchanged views on regional and multilateral issues.”

“EAM Sushma Swaraj met with the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini. Excellent discussions on maximising full potential of India-EU strategic partnership, including implementation of the decisions taken at the previous India-EU Summit in 2017,” he said in a tweet.

EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy Mogherini informed Swaraj on the preparation of a new joint communication on India, which will provide direction for increased cooperation in the coming years, as well as the EU’s upcoming strategy to enhance, in a sustainable manner, EU-Asia connectivity.

They exchanged views on creating the conditions to increase trade and investment flows. Mogherini also expressed the EU’s readiness to deepen the dialogue on data protection and referred to the new EU data protection regime, a statement from Swaraj said.

Swaraj and Mogherini also discussed in depth foreign policy and security cooperation, namely on counterterrorism, cybercrime, maritime security, as well as in the Indian Ocean, it said.

They also addressed developments in their neighbourhoods, like the situation of the Rohingya, Afghanistan, the Maldives, the importance of preserving the JCPOA with Iran, and the ongoing diplomatic work for the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, the statement said.

India and the EU have been strategic partners since 2004 and during this visit Swaraj has held wide ranging discussions with the EU leadership to strengthen India-EU strategic partnership.

The 28-nation bloc is India’s largest regional trading partner with bilateral trade in goods standing at USD 88 billion in 2016.

India received around USD 83 billions of foreign direct investment from Europe between 2000 and 2017, constituting approximately 24 per cent of the total FDI inflows into the country during the period.

First Published: Jun 23, 2018 11:01 IST