India and the European Union (EU) on November 23 held virtual talks and discussed a range of issues including the area of nuclear, chemical and biological disarmament along with matters related to outer space and export control regimes. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that the discussion in that took place remotely was under the framework of the sixth round of consultations on disarmament and non-proliferation. The MEA also said that the consultations were targetted at developing mutual understanding and appreciation between both the India and European Union on international security issues.

Minister of External Affairs, Dr S Jaishankar also spoke at India-Europe Strategy Group on November 23  aimed at uniting main European and Indian stakeholders to share their experiences and discuss the future relationship after the COVID-19 pandemic. In another step forward towards India-EU relations, Jaishankar said that India is “encouraged” about Portugal assuming the presidency of the European Council because according to MEA, its leadership can make a “big difference” in the partnership. MEA also called Europe as a “natural partner”.

“Europe is a natural partner when it comes to resources, technology or best practises. On their part, the Europeans need to appreciate the scale of this change and the opportunities that emerge from it. Whether it is access to electricity or drinking water, financial inclusion or low-cost housing, we are talking of hundreds of millions being directly impacted in a very short time frame,” he added.