EU looks to strengthen cooperation with India

(European Union Ambassador Ugo Astuto. Twitter/@UgoAstuto)

The EU is looking to strengthen cooperation with India in political and security matters, including counter-terrorism, and in tackling key challenges such as climate change, new European Union Ambassador Ugo Astuto said on Thursday.

Astuto presented his credentials to President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here.

He said India can draw upon shared values of democracy and pluralism to foster a cooperative approach to international relations, upholding the values and principles of the UN Charter.

"We look forward to further building on our collaboration to tackle key global challenges such as climate change and implementation of sustainable development goals," Astuto said.

"My objective over the next few years is to further strengthen the well-established partnership and explore new avenues for cooperation with the Indian government, based on each other's priorities and expectations," he added.

He said the fight against climate change is a common priority.

"We have much to gain by working together in the development of the digital economy which offers great opportunities and challenges. We shall also further enhance our economic agenda, fostering trade and investments," he said.

Astuto said the EU has developed a strategy for connectivity between Europe and Asia.

"India is an essential player in this respect. We can cooperate closely in the development of Eurasian connectivity, based on shared principles of transparency, inclusivity and sustainability," he said.

The EU is also collaborating with India on several flagship initiatives such as smart cities, clean Ganga, as well as in the context of the international solar alliance, according to a statement issued by the EU.

"Global challenges require global responses. The EU and India are strengthening their cooperation in political and security matters, including counter-terrorism and cyber security. Cooperation in research and innovation, education and culture has also gained momentum in the last few years," the statement said.

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