M A I N   N E W S

India, EU vow to combat terror
V.S. Chandrasekar

The Hague, November 8
Taking their relationship to a new “strategic partnership” that seeks to expand bilateral trade and investment flows, India and the European Union (EU) today condemned all acts of terrorism and pledged to take comprehensive and sustained measures to combat the menace.

“We stress that further strengthening cooperation in combating terrorism is a priority area for the EU-India Action Plan for a strategic partnership that will seek to deepen the international consensus and enhance international efforts to combat terrorism,” a joint press statement issued at the end of the India-EU summit attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said.

The comprehensive statement issued after Dr Manmohan Singh’s summit meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, the current EU President, and European Commission President Roman Prodi also vowed to reduce the access of terrorists to financial and other economic resources, address the issues which create an environment conducive to terrorism, including support for and recruitment into terrorism.

It also sought to explore ways to strengthen the counter-terrorism dialogue by covering other security-related issues.

The 10-page statement resolved to enhance collective action to fight the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction as well as the means of deliverty in recognition of shared concerns of the international community regarding the danger posed by the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, including acquisition by non-state actors.

Unequivocally condemning all forms of terrorism, the two sides outlined a five-point action plan to combat the scourge and resolved to enhance collective action to fight proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Both sides recognised the need to strengthen the role of the UN and make it more responsive in meeting global threats and challenges, the statement said.

The 25-member EU welcomed “the positive evolution” of the relationship between India and Pakistan and said the grouping looked forward to its consolidation through ongoing composite dialogue in an atmosphere free from the menace of terrorism and violence.

The two sides also agreed to work out a new joint political declaration for approval at the next summit meeting, the statement said.

Observing that their partnership was based on a “sound foundation” of shared values and beliefs, it said both sides would encourage holding of regular, institutionalised exchanges between the Indian and European Parliaments.

“We agree to intensify cooperation and take action to facilitate and expand bilateral trade and investment flows, given the importance of realising the potential of growing India and EU markets and the mutual benefits of increased economic interaction,” it said. — PTI

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