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India, EU to enhance trade, security ties; ink three key pacts

New Delhi, Oct 6 (UNI) India and the European Union today decided to further deepen their strategic ties by including political cooperation as its major element, and they also signed three important agreements, including one on Bangalore metro rail and renewable energy.

The two countries also agreed to enhance their anti-terror cooperation.

''We have agreed to strengthen our security cooperation and work together against terrorism,''
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here after talks with President of the European Council Donald Tusk
and President of the European Council Jean Claude Juncker at the 14th India-EU Summit here.

''We will not only further strengthen our bilateral cooperation on this issue, but will also increase our cooperation and coordination in multilateral fora,’’ the Prime Minister added.

Mr Modi also expressed India’s commitment to the 2015 Paris Agreement.

He said India and EU were also committed to mutual cooperation for reducing the cost of deployment of renewable energy, and strengthening cooperation in developing smart cities and upgrading urban infrastructure.

During the meeting, the EU pushed for progress on the stalled talks of the proposed India-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA), agreement. The points of disagreement are EU demand for lowering import duties on automobiles and alcohol by India and recognition of India by the EU as data-secure country.

EU Council President Donald Tusk in his remarks to media after the talks with Mr Modi said the two countries had decided to increase their strategic partnership.

He said the two countries would also increase their maritime security in the Indian Ocean and beyond.

According to Mr Tusk, the Myanmar refugee issue also figured in the discussions. ''We want them to accept the recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine state,'' he said.

''Free and fair trade agreements are not only important for our companies and citizens to prosper, but above all they strengthen the rules based international order and our way of life. The democracies of the world can be the one to set ambitious global targets, but only if we cooperate,'' Tusk said.

Europeam Commission President Juncker said,''India has to agree to highest standards of data. If India’s standards match that of data protection standard of the EU, then only we recognize india for data adequacy for free exchange of data between our companies.''
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