India-EU summit gets underway

Brussels, March 30 (IANS) The 13th India-EU Summit got underway here on Wednesday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in attendance.

“Getting down to the nuts & bolts of democracy. 13th #IndiaEU Summit begins with a restricted meeting,” external affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup tweeted.

The summit is being held after a gap of nearly four years.

India and the European Union started holding the summit meeting in 2000.

In 2004, the relationship between the two sides was turned into a “strategic partnership”.

On Tuesday, ahead of his departure for Brussels, Modi said in a statement that the EU was a vital trading partner and the biggest export destination for India.

“This summit will advance our multifaceted engagement across a whole range of domains,” he said.

Prior to the summit, Modi met with European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker.

The prime minster attended the summit after having completed his bilateral engagements with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel earlier in the day.

Wednesday is the first day of Modi’s three-nation tour that will also take him to the US and Saudi Arabia.

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