“The idea was to convince Europe that we need to focus more on the Asia-Pacific region and that we need to focus more on redefining it as the Indo-Pacific region, which is India’s position in that region. Underscores the important role.” , said Augusto Santos Silva.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs was speaking at a ‘webinar’ organized by the European Policy Center (EPC) titled “Reviewing the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union” and which focused in particular on the advances made by the European Union . International relations during the Portuguese presidency, which ends today.
Emphasizing that if he had to choose “one single achievement” in terms of foreign relations during the Portuguese semester, it would be the summit with India, Augusto Santos Silva said the 27 leaders of the European Union and the Indian Prime Minister. The meeting between , Narendra Modi, has a “triple value”.
In addition to starting a “high-level political dialogue between the world’s two largest democracies”, the summit in question allowed the resumption of negotiations on a trade deal stalled since 2013.
In this regard, Augusto Santos Silva recalled that, in November 2020, thirteen countries from Asia and Oceania signed a trade agreement called the Comprehensive Regional Economic Partnership (RCEP).
“RCEP was initiated with China, Japan, Korea, several Asian countries and Australia and New Zealand. Who was absent from this type of agreement? USA, EU and India. Therefore, we need rebalancing”, Augusto Santos insisted on Silva.
The head of Portuguese diplomacy also recalled that, during the German presidency of the EU Council, there was an agreement in principle with China on investment, and in November 2020, the EU “raised partnerships with Asian countries to the level”. decided to enhance a strategic partnership”.
“So the missing element was India, and our aim of holding the summit in Porto was to recover that element,” he said.
Emphasizing that the aim of the summit was not to “replace China by India”, but to “multiply EU partners” in the Indo-Pacific region, Augusto Santos Silva reiterated the importance of RCEP. less” cannot be done. And the “challenges” that the settlement block in question faces.
“It was a change in the rules of the game in a way. So, we have to realize that, if we have to participate in the game, we have to go to the arena and play. Not just declaring values. Or grand phrases. Using,” Santos Silva said.
On 8 May, a meeting of EU-India leaders took place in Porto, organized by the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which brought together EU Heads of State and Government with Narendra Modi, who participated virtually due to the situation. Had taken. Pandemic in your country.
During the meeting under consideration, the two blocs undertook to resume negotiations on a trade agreement, which had been stalled since 2013.
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