New Delhi, 20 November (IANS). Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday attended the India-Luxembourg bilateral summit via video conferencing. During this time he negotiated all dimensions of bilateral relations with his Luxembourg counterpart Javier Bettel.
The summit meeting was held on Thursday between India and Luxembourg for the first time in two decades. The two Prime Ministers decided to improve relations in the financial sector, digital domain, green financing and space applications. He also took stock of the global situation resulting from the Kovid-19 epidemic.
Barely a fortnight ago, Foreign Secretary Harshvardhan Shringla made his first trip to Europe outside the South Asian region. He spent a week touring France, Germany and Britain. After relations with the US, Japan and Australia, it is clear that India is looking at Europe in a new way.
The geopolitics of communist nation China has been an eye opener globally. The liberal democratic countries of the West are well aware of China’s expansionary policy and tact. India’s relations with France, Germany and Britain are built on the foundation of shared democratic values.
The people of Europe are also reacting to India’s initiative. The European Union (EU) is looking at India as a more suitable option than China for strategic concerns and economic relations. India enjoys substantial trade relations and has a large investment flow with the European Union. In addition, India and many European countries work closely on multilateral platforms on various issues of common interest.
Shringla met with France’s Director General (Director General) Alice Guitton on International Relations and Strategy (DGRIS) to discuss the Indo-Pacific region as well as maritime security and defense partnerships during her Europe trip. France is supplying Rafale fighter jets to India and is also helping to design its latest submarines. The two countries held detailed discussions on issues of terrorism, global warming, sustainable development, climate change as well as technology and innovation.
Due to the rapidly changing global landscape, many European countries have reworked their political perspectives and have shown keenness to align with Asian countries, particularly those from the Indo-Pacific region.
At the same time, Germany released its new policy guidelines for the Indo-Pacific region in September this year, which emphasizes strengthening relations with Asian countries other than China.
As Germany withdraws from China-centric policy, the chances of her coming closer to India certainly increase. Shringla met with Minister of State for External Affairs and think tank Niels Annen. India seized the opportunity to remind Germany how it fits into Indo-Pacific’s earlier vision as a reliable and strategic partner.
Germany’s Defense Minister Anegret Kramp-Karrnbauer recently said that his country would like to send its navy to patrol the Indian Ocean trade routes next year. She was speaking at an event organized by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAF), where she said that Germany also wants closer defense cooperation with Australia.
In addition, Shringla urged the British Government in London to come up with their own Indo-Pacific strategy in line with European countries. He also said, we would like the UK to emerge as a major investor and innovation partner.
He also explicitly indicated the new-found relevance of the Indo-Pacific.
(This is available under an arrangement with Content India Narrative.com)
AKK / SGK