India-EU Summit: EU leaders extend solidarity to India, PM Modi presses for vaccine patent waivers

Reported By: Sidhant Sibal Edited By: Manas Joshi WION
New Delhi Published: May 08, 2021, 08:05 PM(IST)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Photograph:( PTI )

Story highlights

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed EU leadership to support waiver on Trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS waiver) at WTO (World Trade Organisation). This wavier is being sought for Covid-related treatments and vaccines to be widely available across the world

The first-ever India-EU summit comprising of India and 27 EU member states began on Saturday. World leaders showered praise on India. These included French President Emmanuel Macron who said India did not need to "listen to lectures from anyone" and Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa who himself is an Overseas Citizen of India. He spoke about his OCI card with pride.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed EU leadership to support waiver on Trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS waiver) at WTO (World Trade Organisation). This wavier is being sought for Covid-related treatments and vaccines to be widely available across the world.

Last week US extended support for the wavier, which came in the backdrop of PM Modi-US President Joe Biden's talks. The wavier will help in the production of more covid vaccines helping ease the situation globally.

During the summit on Saturday, several EU leaders individually thanked India for medical supplies it provided last year while Europe battled the pandemic.  All the EU leaders extended solidarity and support to the people of India and the government amid the covid crisis. 

French President Macron pointed out that India did not need to "listen to lectures from anyone" about vaccine supplies. He highlighted that India has "exported a lot for vaccines for humanity" while mentioning the situation in the country due to covid. Spain PM Pedro Sánchez warmly recalled Indian assistance last year when Spain faced terrible times due to COVID.

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Portuguese PM Antonio Costa proudly mentioned his status as an OCI.

Portugal is the President of the Council of the European Union and the virtual India-EU Leaders meet is being hosted by Portugal PM António Costa.

'Kem Chho'

Belgian PM Alexander De Croo greeted PM Narendra Modi with 'Kem Chho'. It means 'how are you?' in Gujarati, PM Modi's mother tongue.

7,000 people of Indian origin people live in Belgium. Large number of Gujaratis stay in Antwerp, the diamond capital of the world.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez warmly recalled Indian assistance last year during the worst time for Spain. India has been exported vaccines and medicines to many countries in the world during the pandemic.

It is for the second time the EU is holding such a summit with any country. In March, US President Joe Biden meet with EU member states in such a format.

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