EU parliament stresses strategic ties with India

September 25th, 2008 - 12:25 am ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghBrussels, Sep 24 (IANS) The ninth European Union-India summit slaterd for Monday in France and to be attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to adopt three documents aimed at strengthening relations between Brussels and New Delhi, a French minister said Wednesday. French President Nicolas Sarkozy is also to attend the summit.

Minister of state in charge of European Affairs Jean-Pierre Jouyet told a debate in European Parliament that the summit will adopt three documents related with a revised 2005 Joint Action Plan, a work programme on energy and climate change and an aviation agreement.

“We hope we will be able to sign a very important agreement on aviation. This is an agreement which has already been initialled by the negotiators at the beginning of the year,” Jouyet was quoted by EuAsiaNews as saying.

France holds the current EU presidency.

The one-day summit will also discuss global issues like Burma, Afghanistan, Iran and the global financial situation.

Margot Wallstrom, vice president of the European Commission in charge of Institutional Relations and Communication, said EU-India trade end investment have continued to expand with trade exchanges rising from 28.6 billion euro in 2003 to over 55 billion euro in 2007.

Wallstrorm said negotiations on free trade agreement between the 27-member bloc and India were making good progress.

She said the EU will be using the bulk of the indicative budget of 470 mn euro for India for 2007-2013 to support specially millennium development goals related to health and education programmes.

“We believe that our relations must be guided through promotion of peace, human rights and comprehensive security,” stressed Wallstrom

During the debate several Members of Parliament (MEPs) expressed deep concern at the current situation of Christian minorities in India.

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