India-EU summit postponed over coronavirus fears

Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: Mar 05, 2020, 06:54 PM(IST)

coronavirus Photograph:( AFP )

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PM Modi was supposed to go for the summit whose main focus was to kick-start talks on India-EU free trade agreement

India and the European Union have postponed the 15th India-EU summit that was to take place in Brussels on March 13 over coronavirus fears.

PM Modi was supposed to go for the summit whose main focus was to kick-start talks on India-EU free trade agreement.

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Ministry of external affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar in response to a question in the weekly presser said, "With regard to the proposed India-EU Summit, both sides have agreed that due to health authorities advising against travel between regions, it would be wise to re-schedule the summit to a later mutually convenient date." 

"The decision has been taken in the spirit of the close cooperation between India and the EU who share the same concerns and commitment to global health and hope that the outbreak is contained soon," the external affairs ministry spokesman said.

The EU mission in Delhi also issued a statement saying: "In view of precautionary measures related to the global spread of COVID-19, the EU and India have jointly decided to postpone the EU-India summit foreseen initially for March 13 in Brussels."

Several major events have been postponed over coronavirus fears. The Indian navy had earlier postponed its largest exercise - Milan 2020. Navies from over 30 countries were to participate in the exercise in Visakhapatnam from March 18 to 27.

"It is for information that MILAN 2020...has been postponed taking into consideration the safety of all participants and travel restrictions imposed by the spread of COVID-19," the Indian Navy said.

Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) also postponed the 21st Asian Security Conference (ASC) to a later date due to ongoing global situation regarding coronavirus.

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