Ahead of the virtual India-European Union (EU) leaders’ meeting on 8 May, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and Prime Minister Narendra Modi exchanged views on the existing Covid-19 in India and EU as well as India’s ongoing effort to contain the spread of the infection.
An official statement from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said that Modi expressed his appreciation of the EU and its member states for mobilizing rapid support for India’s fight against the second wave of covid-19.
“Good call with the Prime Minister in preparation of the EU-India Summit. Team Europe stands in deep solidarity with our democratic partner India. We are providing rapid support and are delivering assistance to fight Covid-19,” Ursula von der Leyen said in a tweet on Monday.
“There is clear momentum to strengthen our strategic relations on trade, digital, climate change & multilateralism. I’m encouraged by the prospect of intensifying our trade & investment relations. This would tap into a huge potential to the benefit of our businesses & citizens,” she said.
The India-EU Leaders’ meeting will be the first meeting in the EU+27 format. It reflects the shared ambition of both sides for further strengthening the India-EU Strategic Partnership, the PMO said in a statement.
In the past, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal had said that India is keen to advance negotiations towards an agreement between India and EU to pave way for a mutually beneficial outcome on investment facilitation. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had also said that the resumption of formal negotiations on the India-EU trade deal in May will strengthen ties between the trading partners.