All Nations To Unite Against Terrorism: Modi In Brussels

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Brussels: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that it was important for all nations to fight this menace, and added that India has been battling terrorism for 40 years.

Prime Minister began addressing the luncheon meeting by first paying tribute to the 32 victims killed in a suicide bomb blast in the Belgian capital last Tuesday. Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel and other officials were also present in the meeting.

In a tweet, Ministry of External affairs spokesperson, Vikas Swarup, quoted the Prime Minister, as saying that, “Today, we live in an interdependent world and India offers a huge opportunity not just a market, but as a huge talent pool.

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He said that India was developing its port sector in a big way and asserted that the nation’s inland waterways offered opportunities for Belgian businesses.

Emphasising that diamonds were an old link between the two countries, he said that it provides employment to many back home and is another sector of promise.

Highlighting his productive discussions with his Belgian counterpart, Prime Minister Modi said that from science and technology to trade, more can be done between the two nations.

He also highlighted the ties of blood with Belgium, he said that 130,000 soldiers from India fought in Belgium, 100 years ago and 9000 had made the supreme sacrifice.

Ending his speech, Prime Minister invited everyone to explore opportunities in India pressing that it is was the fastest growing economy in the world.

Belgian Prime Minister had earlier said that the India and Belgium relationship was full of potential. Prior to the luncheon, Prime Minister Modi met leading Belgian CEOs at Egmont Palace.

He held talks with his Belgian counterpart and even inspected the parade at the Egmont Palace.

Earlier today, accompanied by Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reyndersby, and Indian officials, including Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman, the Prime Minister paid tribute to the victims of the deadly terror attacks at the Maelbeek metro station and laid a wreath at the site where a suicide bomber blew himself up.

He also remembered India’s Infosys employee Raghavendran Ganesan, who was killed in that explosion.

Modi arrived in Brussels for the first leg of his three nation tour of Belgium, United States and Saudi Arabia, this morning where he will participate in the European Union-India Summit India-EU Summit and hold bilateral talks with his Belgian counterpart Charles Michel.

Modi’s round of meetings in the day in Brussels began with an interaction with Members of the European Parliament and the Belgian Parliament.

Honouring the cultural ambassadors of India, Prime Minister Modi met with leading Belgian Indologists.

Upon his arrival this morning in Brussels, he was given a red carpet welcome and a guard of honour. This is the Prime Minister Modi’s first official visit to Belgium.

Prime Minister is also expected to sign several agreements with European Union member nations.

The Prime Minister, later in the day, will hold meetings with a cross section of the Indian Diaspora in Belgium and also interact with Board Members of the Association of Diamond Traders in Belgium. The same evening, he will address a community programme and interact with Indian diaspora.

European Union officials said, Prime Minister Modi’s decision to attend the EU-India Summit amid heightened security concerns in the region is a welcome sign that both sides are keen to re-establish a relationship that has been languishing in recent years.

European officials hope the closed-door summit will yield a joint statement and an agenda that will serve as a roadmap for EU-India cooperation in what is referred to as Action 2020. This includes concrete priority actions for the strategic partnership between the two sides over the next five years.