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India-EU concerned over Rohingya violence in Myanmar, discuss regional issues also

India-EU concerned over Rohingya violence in Myanmar, discuss regional issues also

New Delhi, Oct 6 (UNI) While the 14th India-European Union annual summit on Friday committed itself to work in a result-oriented manner to further strengthen the India-EU Strategic Partnership and deepen trade cooperation, it also expressed concern over crucial regional issues such as situation in Myanmar and Afghanistan as well as belligerence of North Korea in continuing with its nuclear programme. While India was represented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the EU's representation was led by Donald Tusk, President of the European Council and Jean Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission. The leaders underlined the importance of regular high level contacts to enhance India-EU co-operation and mutual understanding. Dwelling at length on key regional issues, the two sides expressed deep concern at the recent spate of violence in the Rakhine state of Myanmar that has resulted in the outflow of a large number of people from the state, many of whom have sought shelter in neighbouring Bangladesh. In a joint statement issued at the conclusion of the annual summit, both sides took note that this violence was triggered off by a series of attacks by Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) militants which led to loss of lives amongst the security forces as well as the civilian population. Both sides recognised the need for ending the violence and restoring normalcy in the Rakhine state without any delay. They urged the Myanmar authorities to implement the Kofi Annan-led Rakhine Advisory Commission’s recommendations and work with Bangladesh to enable the return of the displaced persons from all communities to Northern Rakhine State. India and the EU also recognised the role being played by Bangladesh in extending humanitarian assistance to the people in need. On Afghanistan, the two sides expressed support to the Government and the people of Afghanistan in their efforts to achieve an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned national peace and reconciliation. The EU appreciated the positive role being played by India in extending development assistance in Afghanistan, including for building social and economic infrastructure, governance institutions and human resource development and capacity building. Both sides reconfirmed their commitment to promoting peace, security, and stability and supporting Afghanistan on its development path to become a self-reliable and prosperous state. Turning to the situation in North Korea, both India and the EU condemned the nuclear test conducted on September 3, terming it an ``unacceptable violation' of international commitments. They agreed that North Korea's continued pursuit of nuclear and ballistic missile programmes and its proliferation links pose a grave threat to international peace and security, and called for the complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, which has been endorsed by the UNSC and the Six Party Talks. Regarding the situation in Syria, India and the EU reaffirmed the primacy of the UN-led Geneva process and called for full support for the intra-Syrian talks with a view to promoting a political solution in Syria. Protection of civilians and territorial integrity is fundamental and all parties to the conflict and their supporters are expected to live up to their commitments. India and the EU reaffirmed that only a credible political solution, as defined in UNSCR 2254 and the 2012 Geneva Communiqué will ensure the stability of Syria and enable a decisive defeat of Da'esh and other UN-designated terrorist groups in Syria. India and the EU agreed that the second Brussels Conference on Syria in spring 2018 will contribute to sustain international commitment to Syria. On the Middle East Peace Process, India and the EU reiterated calls on parties to engage constructively so that a just, lasting and comprehensive resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, based on the two-state solution, could be achieved on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid Principles, the Arab Peace Initiative, for peace and stability in the Middle East. UNI VT SHK 1924

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