India-EU ministerial meeting Friday

May 29th, 2008 - 9:28 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, May 29 (IANS) An India-European Union troika ministerial meeting will be held here Friday to help the two sides strengthen their political and economic ties. External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee will lead the Indian delegation at the talks, the external affairs ministry said in a statement Thursday.

Dimitrij Rupel, minister for foreign affairs Slovenia, in his capacity as president of the European Council, and Rama Yade, minister of state in the foreign affairs ministry of France, will be there as EU representatives.

The EU presidency is now with Slovenia but it will pass on to France in July.

The EU is India’s largest trading partner and the two-way trade between the two sides has already crossed 55.6 billion euros. It is also an important technology and investment partner for India and home to a large number of Indians.

The last meeting of the troika was held in Berlin May 31, 2007.

India and the EU share a “strategic partnership” since 2001.

“The relations have diversified from what used to be a purely trade and economic driven relationship to one covering a wider cross-section of interaction,” the statement said.

India is also one of the chosen few countries with which the EU holds an annual summit.

“The Troika Ministerial meetings provide an opportunity for general exchange of views on bilateral, regional and global issues,” the statement added.

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