Foreign Policy Blogs

India & EU to seek great cooperation to counter terrorism

Two days after terror struck in one of India’s holiest city Varanasi, Indian Prime Minister has said that he looks forward to expanding India’s engagement with the European Union. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh was speaking prior to his departure to Brussels to attend the 11th Annual India-European Union Summit. Dr. Singh said that he hoped to work closely with the European leadership with the objective to deepen strategic cooperation in counter-terrorism and other “non-traditional” threats to security.

Dr. Singh said that India’s partnership with the 27-nation bloc European Union has evolved from economic and development cooperation to a broader strategic engagement. The Prime Minister will be in Brussels on the first leg of his two-nation European tour that will also take him to Germany for talks with German leaders including Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday. It is expected that the situation in Afghanistan and Climate Change, the state of the global economy and the role of the G-20 in the recovery process will also come up for discussions during Dr. Singh’s talks with European Leaders.

India has been rather keen on substantiating its cooperation in counter-terrorism with the European Union. Towards this end the India is likely to sign an agreement on enhancing cooperation in the field with the European Union. Media reports quoted Lars-Olof Lindgren, Ambassador of Sweden as saying that “an agreement to enhance security cooperation may be signed between the two sides during the summit”. The EU’s Counter-Terrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove has had wide ranging talks with Indian officials. They also have to up to a month to explore possibility of broadening cooperation between the two sides on security related issues. Intelligence sharing, research and development of skills of counter-terror security forces are some of the areas identified by Kerchove.

Interesting, in neighbouring Pakistan, Prime Minister Mr. Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani speaking in an interview with a Turkish channel reiterated his country’s firm resolve to fight against terrorism and militancy. Towards achieving this end he stressed on the need for enhanced regional cooperation to root out this menace for peace, prosperity and socio-economy development of the region. “Terrorism is a regional problem and there should be a regional solution. There should be increased cooperation in the fight against terrorism”, Gilani said.