India, EU hold 10th Summit, sign pact on Fusion Energy Research

New Delhi, November 6, 2009

India and the European Union (EU) today signed an agreement in the field of Fusion Energy Research and decided to forge stronger cooperation in the areas of science and technology, education and culture.

"This agreement underscores the growing importance of energy security and clean energy in our cooperation," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told mediapersons after the 10th India-EU Summit.

The summit was attended by, among others, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt of Sweden and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

Dr Singh said talks at the summit were very productive and wide-ranging and held in a spirit of friendship and warmth, which he described as the hallmark of India-EU relations.

The two sides reviewed the progress on the Joint Action Plan that was adopted by them in 2005 and agreed on measures to speed up its implementation.

Dr Singh said India and the EU had a Strategic Partnership based on shared values of democracy, pluralism, cultural diversity and respect for human rights.

"In this context, we reviewed the entire spectrum of our bilateral cooperation. We have identified trade and investment, energy, counter-terrorism, science and technology, climate change, and movement of peoples and as priority areas of our cooperation," he said.

Among other things, the two sides reviewed the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan and emphasised the need for concerted international action to combat terrorism.

They agreed to work towards early finalisation of the agreement between Europol and India. They also reviewed the situation in the Middle East, Iran, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

The two sides also exchanged views on other global and regional issues and agreed to continue to work closely on issues such as the reform of international institutions, the global economic and financial crisis, climate change and nuclear diarmament and non-proliferation.

"We agreed on the importance of a multi-lateral approach to addressing these challenges," Dr Singh said.

The Prime Minister said he was happy to note that, despite the economic slowdown, trade in goods and services between India and the EU had doubled over the past five years to reach almost euro 80 billion.

He said the two sides had agreed to expedite the conclusion of a balanced and mutually beneficial Broad Based Agreement on Trade and Investment that would lead to increased economic opportunities and creation of jobs as well as wealth. He invited European businesses to increase their investments in India.

Dr Singh also urged the EU to facilitate movement of people, especially professionals, businesspersons, students, members of civil society and tourists through a friendly visa regime.

"I am satisfied with the outcome of our discussions. India looks forward to taking this very important relationship forward in all areas," he added.

NNN

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