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EU looking to better ties with India

April 26, 2010 19:44 IST

Seeking to provide a "new dimension" to their otherwise "neglected" relations, the European Union said on Monday it is committed to expand its ties with India beyond trade and commerce to include issues of security and terrorism. "Not only in terms of trade, the EU is seeking fruitful dialogue with India on security, terrorism and climate change, apart from greater cooperation in energy security, cultural and people to people exchange," Graham Watson, Chairman of Delegation for Relations with India, said.

"In the past, EU has rather neglected relations with India but it is definitely seeking to expand and intensify contacts with India," Watson said. Lauding the government for its "excellent policy" of fighting Naxals in Andhra Pradesh, Watson said the EU has a "huge interest" in working with India on issues related to terrorism. Daniele Smajda, Ambassador and Head of Delegation of European Commission to India, said they wanted a "new dimension" in EU-India relations.

"Our relations encompass a wide range of important subjects from global security and climate change to the promotion of an open multilateral trading system," Smajda, who is part of an eight-member visiting delegation, said. Smajda said although there have been many official delegations to India, the relation between European Parliament and the Indian Parliament remains a "weak" part. "This is a little weak part inspite of several very important visits by delegations, perhaps it needs to be more regular," said Smajda. Another Member of the European Parliament Lena Kolarsk Bobinska said, "We perceive India as crucial for stability of the region, "while praising the country's democratic set up.

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