India-EU defence, security consultation begin signalling first potential partnership

Source : Times Now

India-EU defence, security consultation begin signalling first potential partnership
Representative Image. Photo : iStock

New Delhi: One of India’s closest economic partners. And about 450 million people. And yet, India and the European Union have had no defence links, until today. 

The first India-EU defence and security consultations began in Brussels today, with both sides looking at building closer links in the wake of international developments including the war in Ukraine and the growing aggression of China.

India, of course, has close defence ties with several EU countries like France, and increasingly, Italy, Germany, Poland, Sweden and others, but with the EU, which is developing its security capabilities, this is a path-breaking meeting. Many EU countries are also part of the US-led NATO military alliance, with Sweden and Finland keen to join.

The issues that both sides are keen on cooperating on include cyber security, terrorism, maritime awareness, training modules, joint exercises, threat assessments and other issues. As this is the inaugural meeting, the political leadership is not involved but it is happening at the official level. 

India is keen to cooperate on cyber security, keeping in mind the technological developments and importantly, Chinese activities. India and various EU nations, particularly France and now Germany, have been working in the Indo-Pacific and the presence of the EU here will be welcome.

India and the EU have a serious political and economic relationship and are working towards a free trade agreement. The EU President, Ursula von der Leyen, was in India for a high-profile visit earlier this year.

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