In an interview with TSF, the Minister explained that with this in mind, Portugal has placed the resumption of negotiations with India, suspended since 2013, in the priorities of the Presidency of the European Union Council which will hold the task until 30 June. .
Portugal – as the city of Porto proved – is a “good bridge engineer” and this is what it wants to build with India, a country that has laws and institutions that facilitate dialogue, if compared, for example, with China.
Today, leaders of the 27 member states will meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will be present remotely due to the deteriorating epidemiological situation in his country.
But Augusto Santos Silva said Modi’s physical absence would have no effect on the EU-India leaders meeting, which “will bear fruit.”
The “political declaration is subject to negotiation in practice” and involves “increasing regular political dialogue” between “the two largest democracies in the world” and “moving forward in specific areas of cooperation”, that is, through a partnership for interdependence (transport infrastructure, energy, communication and mobility) .
At the same time, he added, negotiations would resume with the aim of reaching a trade agreement between the European Union and India “as broad and intense as possible,” adding that the heads of European diplomacy had “delegated” the High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, to present the first EU strategy for the Indo-Pacific region. By September. “
Santos Silva also ensured that human rights would be part of the talks with India, pointing to a meeting held in the first quarter of this year “specifically dedicated” to this topic.
Rejecting “moral lessons”, the minister stressed that India “suffers from human rights problems” like the European Union as well.
Therefore, he insisted that the “concern” of European leaders about human rights violations in India “is the same with human rights violations within the European Union” – where “unfortunately,” not all member states respect the common commitment.
The EU-India leaders meeting, which is being held in Porto today, aims to resume negotiations on trade and investment and to strengthen cooperation in other areas, particularly in technology and health.
The meeting brings together the leaders of the 27 member states and the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, who ended up canceling the trip to Portugal due to the epidemic situation in India and takes part via video conference.
The European Union is India’s largest trading partner and the second largest destination for Indian exports.
SBR // MDR
Lusa / The End