Talks on CBI-Europol pact to fight terror gain momentum

Talks on CBI-Europol pact to fight terror gain momentum after attacks in France, Germany, Austria

CBI Office in Delhi. Credit: DH File Image

With the recent back-to-back terror attacks in France, Germany and Austria renewing the European Union’s focus on combatting terrorism, the negotiation between India’s CBI and the Europol for a pact on cooperation in combatting terrorism and organised crime is likely to gain momentum.

The senior officials of India and the European Union (EU) on Thursday exchanged views on stepping up cooperation to counter radicalisation and violent extremism, combating the financing of terrorism and use of the internet by the terrorists.

The 12th India-EU Counter-Terrorism dialogue on Thursday saw the two sides agreeing to strengthen cooperation in combatting terrorism. They discussed sanctions as a tool to combat terrorism, including designations of certain terrorist groups and individuals, ways to deepen cooperation between the law-enforcement agencies of India and counterparts in Europe, including the Europol, which is the law enforcement agency of the 27-nation-bloc.

Mahaveer Singhvi, Joint Secretary for Counter-Terrorism at the Ministry of External Affairs, led the Indian delegation and Joanneke Balfoort, Director for Security Policy at the European External Action Service, led the EU side.

They referred to the on-going negotiations on a working arrangement between Europol and the CBI to support Indian and EU law enforcement authorities in preventing and combating organised crime and terrorism.

The India-EU counter-terrorism dialogue took place at a time, when the 27-nation-bloc renewed focus on dealing with the menace in the wake of the recent attacks in Paris, Conflans-Saint-Honorine and Nice in France, Dresden in Germany and Vienna in Austria.

“India and the EU strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations including the use of terrorist proxies for cross-border terrorism,” the two sides stated in a joint press release after the meeting.

India condemned the recent terror attacks in the member states of the European Union and expressed condolences to the families of the victims.

The EU reiterated its condemnation of terrorist attacks in India, including the ones in Mumbai, Pathankot and Pulwama. The bloc reiterated its support for the people and the Government of India in the fight against terrorism.

“India and the EU emphasised the need for strengthening international cooperation to combat terrorism in a comprehensive and sustained manner. They reaffirmed that it is crucial that perpetrators of violence and terrorism are brought to justice,” the two sides stated.