India, EU eyeing to boost cooperation in Indo-Pacific

New Delhi, May 7 (PTI) India and the European Union have vowed to expand cooperation in the Indo-Pacific with a resolve to address common security challenges and promote peace and stability in the region.

The two sides explored ways to boost cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region at a security and defence dialogue in Delhi on Monday.

In the meeting, India and the EU reiterated their commitment to a free, open, inclusive and rules-based maritime order in the Indo-Pacific region, underpinned by respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, democracy and rule of law and freedom of navigation and overflight, a readout by the EU delegation in India said.

The dialogue was co-chaired by Vishvesh Negi, Joint Secretary (International Cooperation) in the defence ministry and Joanneke Balfoort, Director, Security and Defence policy of European External Action Service.

The two side also underlined the importance of unimpeded lawful commerce and peaceful resolution of disputes in line with international law, especially the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Both the European Union and Indo-Pacific countries have a stake in each other’s prosperity and security, the readout noted.

The EU aims to contribute to stability, security, prosperity and sustainable development in the Indo-Pacific, fostering the principles of democracy, rule of law, human rights and international law acting as an “intelligent facilitator” for peace and security in non-traditional security domains, in full partnerships with the other actors in the region, mainly India, it said.

The EU delegation in India also organised a seminar with the theme of ‘The security environment in the Indo-Pacific region and the EU’s role as security actor in partnership/cooperation with India’.

The seminar was attended by security and defence experts, think tank representatives, diplomats, Indian officials and EU member state representatives.

“In this interconnected world, mutually beneficial peace, security and defence partnerships are more needed than ever. We see India, a country with considerable strategic weight on the global security balance, as a key partner for the EU in the Indo-Pacific,” Balfoort said at the seminar.

EU Ambassador to India Hervé Delphin said the global environment has turned more volatile and unstable with war and security threats are on a rise.

“The EU is adapting to this new reality by enhancing its own security and defence but also by working together with international partners to address common security challenges to promote peace and stability,” he said.

“The growing interconnectedness between dynamics in Europe and the Indo-Pacific region means that cooperation with Asian partners and most notably with India has become more important than ever.”

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