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Visit of External Affairs Minister to European Union

February 18, 2020

At the invitation of H.E. Mr. Josep Borrell Fontelles, European Union’s High Representative/Vice President for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar, visited Brussels on February 17th for a discussion with the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union. This was EAM’s first visit to the EU after the assumption of office of the new Commission in December 2019.

The Foreign Affairs Council is constituted by EU High Representative and the 27 Foreign Ministers of the members states of the European Union. It is responsible for the European Union’s external action on foreign policy, defence and security, trade, development cooperation and humanitarian assistance. EAM shared with the FAC, India’s foreign policy priorities and regional and global perspective. The focus of the exchange was on the common values of the India and European Union, which represent the world’s two largest democracies and their shared commitment to democracy, multilateralism, rules-based international order, rules-based international trade with WTO at its core and sustainable development.

Both sides expect to deepen their engagement – particularly on common priorities such as addressing climate change, safeguarding multilateralism, cooperation in defence, security, connectivity, digital economy, trade and investment as also in the field of defence security and addressing the menace of terrorism. In this context, EAM met H.E. Mr. Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice President for European Green Deal, H.E. Mr. Phil Hogan, Commissioner for Trade, H.E. Mme Jutta Urpilainen, Commissioner for International Partnership.

EAM called on H.E. Mr. Charles Michel, President of the European Council of Heads of Government of the 27 member states of the European Union. He apprised President Michel of his discussions with the FAC, earlier during the day.

EAM met his Belgian counterpart, H.E. Mr Philippe Goffin, Minister of Foreign Affairs and of Defence of Belgium and congratulated him on Belgium’s assumption of the Presidency of the UNSC for February 2020. The two Ministers discussed India-Belgium cooperation in the bilateral context, in multilateral fora as well as regional and global issues of shared interest.

During his one-day visit, EAM exchanged views with a group of Members of the European Parliament representing various member states and political groupings in the new European Parliament. This was his second such interaction with MEPs.

New Delhi
February 17, 2020
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