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India, Luxembourg express strong concern over international terrorism

New Delhi: India and Luxembourg on Thursday expressed strong concern at continuing threats of international terrorism, including cross-border terrorism.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Luxembourg counterpart Xavier Bettel condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. They agreed on the need for continued cooperation between India and Luxembourg to support international efforts at the United Nations and at forums like the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to prevent and combat terrorism.

The two leaders held the first-ever India-Luxembourg Virtual Summit on Thursday and underlined the excellent relations between India and Luxembourg based on shared principles and values of democracy, freedom, rule of law, and respect for human rights. They noted with satisfaction the development of cordial and friendly relations between the two countries over more than seven decades since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1948.

A joint statement issued after the virtual summit said that the two leaders emphasised the need to tap into the potential of the relationship through enhanced cooperation in areas of trade, finance, steel, space, ICT, innovation, manufacturing, automotive, sustainable development, including through renewable energy, and the fight against climate change. “ The two leaders acknowledged the growing convergences between India and Luxembourg on global issues of mutual interest. They shared the commitment to foster deeper understanding and cooperation between the two countries and, in this context, they welcomed the institutionalization of regular bilateral consultations between the Ministry of External Affairs of India and the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg,’’ the joint statement said.

Welcoming the growing economic relationship between the two countries, the two Premiers expressed satisfaction that companies from both India and Luxembourg were expanding their presence in each other’s countries. In this context, they agreed to look at new opportunities for business cooperation. Both Prime Ministers welcomed the signing of a cooperation agreement between Invest India and Luxinnovation to support and develop mutual business cooperation between Indian and Luxembourg companies. They also took note of the long-standing cooperation between India and Luxembourg in the steel sector and called upon businesses, including SMEs and startups, to explore further opportunities for expanding the economic relationship. They also noted that Luxembourg companies were taking a growing interest in India’s various initiatives related to the environment, clean energy and sustainable technologies, including the Clean Ganga Mission.

The two leaders looked forward to the 17th Joint Economic Commission between India and the Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union to review the economic and trade relations.

They took positive note of the ongoing space cooperation between India and Luxembourg, including in the domain of satellite broadcasting and communications, and noted with satisfaction that the Luxembourg based space companies had begun utilizing the services of India for launching their satellites into space. They welcomed the successful launch on November 7 by ISRO of the PSLV-C49 mission, which included 4 satellites from Luxembourg.

The two leaders agreed that COVID-19 had accelerated the Digitalization process and, in this regard, they emphasized the need for cooperation in the digital domain and its emerging technologies. They noted that both India and Luxembourg are promoting Digitalization through the “Digital India” programme and the”Digital Luxembourg” initiative respectively and agreed to explore convergences between the two initiatives. They also noted the existing linkages of IITs in Bombay, Kanpur and Madras and the National Law School of India with the University of Luxembourg and agreed to further expand the cooperation between institutes of higher education and research in both countries. The two leaders noted that both India and Luxembourg share the ethos of non-violence in the current global environment. In this regard, Prime Minister Modi welcomed Luxembourg’s issuance of a commemorative stamp in 2019 to mark the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

The two Prime Ministers discussed the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including its health and socio-economic consequences, and expressed their resolve to combat the pandemic.

Prime Minister Bettel welcomed India’s election to a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council for the term 2021-2022 and reiterated Luxembourg’s support for the reform of the UN Security Council, including its expansion in both categories of permanent and non-permanent membership.

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