Modi Kicks-Off Three-Way Trip With Terror Stricken Brussels

Modi’s visit comes days before the March 22 terror attacks in Brussels which killed 32 people including an Indian.

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PM Narendra Modi being received on his arrival at Brussels Military Airport, Belgium.(Photo: Twitter)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Brussels on Wednesday for a hectic day-long visit, during which he is expected to attend the India-EU Summit and hold bilateral talks with his Belgian counterpart Charles Michel.

Though terror is expected to figure prominently both at the Summit and also in the bilateral talks in the wake of the Brussels suicide attacks last week, Modi will strive to advance India’s partnership with EU in priority areas such as ‘Make in India’ and ‘Smart Cities’.

Modi’s visit comes days after the March 22 terror attack in Brussels in which at least 32 people were killed, including an Indian, Raghavendran Ganeshan, who was an Infosys employee from Bengaluru.

India-EU Summit and strong economic & investment ties with Belgium will be on the agenda during my Brussels visit.
Narendra Modi, Prime Minister

The 13th India-EU Summit is being held after a gap of four years. The last Summit was held in New Delhi in 2012 and negotiations remained deadlocked over several key issues. Besides firming up India-EU counter-terror partnership, the Summit is expected to evince interest in other projects like cleaning of Ganga on the lines of River Rhine and Danube.

Soon after his arrival, Modi has a series of meetings lined up including one with Indologists, along with a meeting with members of the European Parliament and the Belgian Parliament. On the eve of the Prime Minister’s visit, the EU said in a statement that “the Summit in Brussels will be an opportunity to re-launch relations and make concrete progress on areas of mutual interest, including trade and investment, energy, climate, water and migration.”

He had hailed the “resilience and spirit” of its people in the wake of the horrific Brussels bombings and said India stands “shoulder-to-shoulder” with them.

EU is India’s biggest trading partner as a bloc with trade amounting to USD 126 billion and it is also India’s largest export destination with exports worth USD 65 billion. It is the largest source of FDI in India at USD 69 billion.

From Brussels, Modi will leave for Washington to attend the Nuclear Security Summit on March 31 and April 1 and from there he will travel to Saudi Arabia on a two-day visit with a focus on boosting energy and security cooperation.

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