India, EU Agree to Tackle Online Extremism, Radicalization

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the Indian Community in Brussels on Wednesday

During the meeting, while India pushed the EU for assuming a greater role of a security provider, the EU was firm on pushing the stalled talks of the proposed India-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA), that began a decade ago.

"Today, we have reviewed the progress in implementation of the decisions taken at our last Summit, and the Agenda 2020 announced previous year.", said PM Modi.

"I am pleased that the India-EU Horizontal Civil Aviation Agreement has now been operationalized".

"Leaders also agreed to further intensify cooperation on addressing environmental challenges, such as water management and air pollution, acknowledged the progress in implementing the India-EU Water Partnership, including an agreed action programme", it said.

The two sides also discussed the crisis involving more than 500,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing from violence in Myanmar, and called for a de-escalation of tensions and their voluntary return home in safety and dignity.

According to Tusk, fair and free trade is not only important for companies on both sides to prosper but it will also strengthen the multilateral rules-based order.

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"I also appreciate the decision of the European Investment Bank to fund solar-related projects in member countries of the International Solar Alliance", Modi said. "The European Union doesn't want to dictate conditions", Juncker said. Many of these services and jobs that go with them depend on exchange of data. "This is a precondition for exchanging personal data freely and securely".

Pointing out that the European Union was India's largest trading partner accounting for 13 per cent of India's total trade, he invited Indian companies to invest in Europe.

India has received foreign direct investment of around $83 billion between 2000 and 2017 from Europe, which is 24 percent of total Foreign Direct Investment in the country during that period.

"The leaders expressed their shared commitment to strengthening the economic partnership between India and the EU and noted the ongoing efforts of both sides to re-engage actively towards timely relaunching negotiations for a comprehensive and mutually beneficial India-EU Broad Based Trade and Investment Agreement", an overall joint statement issued at the end of the summit said. "To use the words of President Juncker a few days ago, India-European Union relations today have a good wind in their sails!", said he.

Besides economic ties, the two agreed to step up cooperation in countering violent extremism and radicalization, particularly online, and in enhancing maritime security in the Indian Ocean and beyond, as well as working together to address climate change.

Talking about data protection, Juncker said "Indian companies providing IT services to many European companies, numerous services they provide involve exchange of personal data, the black gold of 21st century".

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