Europe needs to know it has friends in Indo-Pacific: Indian Minister Jaishankar

During a visit to Slovenia, the External Affairs Minister of India, S Jaishankar, has said that there are many issues where India and Europe have meeting points, asserting that in today’s globalised world the European Union (EU) needs to know it has friends in the Indo-Pacific region.

Jaishankar is in the central European nation as part of a four-day visit to Slovenia, Croatia and Denmark to enhance India-EU ties and for bilateral talks. During his visit, he participated in a panel discussion with Slovenian counterpart Anze Logar at the Bled Strategic Forum (BSF) on 'Partnership for a Rules-Based Order in the Indo-Pacific' Ljubljana, Slovenia, this week.

Jaishankar said India-EU relations have emerged more vital as the world battles a global pandemic. Issues of trust and transparency, reliable and resilient supply chains have created common ground.

"In a globalised world that is not even in Europe's own interests. Europe needs to know that it has friends in the Indo-Pacific and that a lot of principles and values and outlook that Europe has, other countries share it," said Jaishankar.

On the subject of differences within the member-states, he added: "It is natural if there are 27 countries, there will be a spectrum of views and a debate. What is important for us is whether the net result of that is an outcome with which India is comfortable as a basis of a partnership."

His Slovenian counterpart, Anze Logar, dubbed India a "natural interlocutor" in the Indo-Pacific region for the EU and said the country is focused on enhanced bilateral cooperation with India.

Slovenia currently holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union and has invited Jaishankar to attend the informal meeting of the foreign ministers of the EU states. The crisis in Afghanistan is on the agenda of the closed-door ministerial discussions during the European visit.

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