India should bring Orissa violence perpetrators to book: EU

September 28th, 2008 - 3:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghBrussels, Sep 28 (IANS)Even as Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrives in France for the EU-India summit, the European Union has expressed concern over the violence against Christians in Orissa and hoped New Delhi would bring the perpetrators to justice soon.”In relation to the recent violence in Orissa, perpetrated by religious extremists, there is widely felt concern in Europe over the scale of the violence and the targeting of vulnerable part of the population. But we are confident that Indian authorities will bring the perpetrators to justice and protect the vulnerable,” European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner told the India & You, a magazine that promotes India here.

Ferrero-Waldner talked about the possibility of cooperation in the field of civil nuclear energy despite the issue still being hotly debated in EU countries.

“Before even talking about EU-India co-operation in the field of nuclear energy, I should stress that the use of nuclear energy is still subject to a debate within the EU, where each EU member state is free to choose its own ‘energy mix’. As far as the EU-India cooperation is concerned, the 2005 joint action plan explicitly foresees the possibility of cooperation in the field of civilian nuclear energy,” she said.

Ferrero-Waldner also expressed concern about the “precarious” security situation in India’s neighbourhood.

“We are very concerned with the precarious security situation in India’s neighbourhood. We were profoundly saddened by the attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul… Yet, we cannot allow the difficult security situation to override our priority - Afghanistan’s state building agenda,” she said.

She said the 9th Summit represented “another important milestone” in EU-India cooperation.

“Both the EU and India have become key actors on the world stage, and with this comes new responsibilities for addressing global challenges such as food and energy security, the financial crisis, the environment and climate change. Agriculture and counter-terrorism are also areas where the potential for cooperation is high,” she said.

On the current crisis in the global financial markets, Ferrero-Waldner said: “Policy makers in India and the EU have to combat inflation pressure and the persistent financial turmoil.”

“India, in particular, plays a significant role in WTO/DDA (World Trade Organisation/Doha Development Agenda) discussions. A global and comprehensive trade agreement would bring substantial gains to the world economy. In this regard, it’s very regrettable that we were in the end unable to bring the Geneva talks to a successful conclusion. We seem to have come very close to a major Doha outcome, only to see success slip away as we approached the final hurdles,” she said.

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