EU and India Move Toward Deepening Ties
On his first visit to Brussels since taking office, Indian Foreign Minister Natwar Singh has signaled New Dehli’s willingness to deepen political dialogue with the EU.
Following a meeting with External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten, Indian Foreign Minister Natwar Singh said that a high-level EU-India summit next month will mandate the development of a "new strategic partnership" between the two sides. "The new Government attaches a lot of importance to the further deepening and strengthening of its relationship with the EU," Singh said in a statement after the meeting. The summit scheduled for Oct. 14 in The Hague will see an agreement to launch negotiations on joint action, highlighting new areas of cooperation. Although the EU is India’s largest market, receiving around a fifth of the country’s imports, political ties remain weak. Among the Indian proposals was to establish dialogue before meetings at international forums such as the UN. There was also discussion of developments in the EU and India’s ongoing talks with Pakistan. Singh is also set to meet with Commissioner-designate Benita Ferrero Waldner and High Representative, Javier Solana.