India, EU hold defence & security dialogue in Brussels
The first-ever India-EU Security and Defence Consultations took place on June 10 in Brussels where both sides agreed to "increase India-EU defence and security cooperation", said the Embassy in Brussels in its press release.
"The first-ever India-EU Security and Defence Consultations took place on 10th June 2022 in Brussels pursuant to a decision taken at the India-EU summit in July 2020," read the release. The consultations were co-chaired by Sornnath Ghosh, Joint Secretary (lnternational Cooperation), Ministry of Defence, Sandeep Chakravorty, Joint Secretary (Europe West), Ministry of External Affairs (India Side) and Joanneke Balfoort, Director Security and Defence Policy (EU Side).
The wide-ranging discussions covered the evolving security situation in Europe, India's neighbourhood and the Indo-Pacific.
The two sides noted the number of positive developments in the area of security and defence cooperation in recent years. The discussions included the establishment of a regular maritime security dialogue, which met for the second time in February 2022, the first-ever joint naval exercises held in June 2021, and a number of joint workshops on the subject of fostering maritime security.
During the consultations, the two sides also discussed various means of increasing India-EU cooperation on maritime security, implementation of the European code of conduct on arms export to India's neighbourhood, cooperation in co-development and co-production of defence equipment including India's participation in Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO).
Both sides agreed to increase India-EU defence and security cooperation as an important pillar of the bilateral strategic relations. The next consultations will be held in Delhi at a mutually agreed convenient time.