India and the leaders of the European Union (EU) and its Member States have highlighted their shared interests, principles and values of democracy, freedom, rule of law and respect for human rights in a joint statement released after the meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the EU leaders. The leaders met in hybrid format in Porto, Portugal yesterday where Mr Modi participated through virtual medium.
Briefing Media in New Delhi, Secretary, West in the Ministry of External Affairs Vikas Swarup informed that Leaders’ Meeting reflected a pivotal moment since the first India-EU Summit in 2000 and further strengthened the Indo-EU relationship towards a better future for everyone. He said, the leaders agreed to advance the implementation of the actions set out in the India-EU Roadmap 2025 as well as of the new decisions taken yesterday.
Both India and EU agreed that, as the world’s two largest democracies, they have a common interest in ensuring security, prosperity and sustainable development in a multi-polar world.
The leaders emphasized the importance of effective and inclusive rules-based multilateralism for tackling current and future global challenges. In the meeting both India and EU acknowledged the difficult circumstances caused globally by the pandemic. The leaders deeply condoled the loss of lives and expressed the deepest sympathy with the families of the victims of this pandemic in India, Europe and the rest of the world.
The leaders also agreed that defeating the COVID-19 pandemic through global cooperation and solidarity should remain the foremost priority while stressing on the commitment to work together to ensure a better, safer, sustainable and inclusive recovery. India and EU supported universal, safe, equitable and affordable access to COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics and treatments, and the strengthening of health systems, and acknowledged the key role of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) in this regard.
The EU members welcomed India’s efforts to produce and distribute COVID-19 vaccines to over 90 countries through its ‘Vaccine Maitri’. India appreciated the EU’s and its Member States’ quick support and assistance, coordinated through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, keeping the spirit of solidarity and cooperation that has been the hallmark of India-EU relations.