PM Modi and Luxembourg PM Bettel express concern over cross-border terrorism
The two nations agreed to support each other at the UN and at forums like the Financial Action Task Force to combat terrorism
While condemning terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Luxembourg counterpart Xavier Bettel on Thursday expressed strong concern at continuing threats of international terrorism, including cross-border terrorism.
The two Prime Ministers also 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.
Both Prime Ministers were speaking at the first stand-alone India-Luxembourg summit via video conferencing.
During the summit, 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.
Both sides agreed on the need to take the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) process decisively forward towards commencing text-based negotiations in the 75th session of the UN General Assembly with the overall objective of achieving concrete results in a fixed time frame.
In this context, Prime Minister Bettel also reiterated Luxembourg’s support for India’s candidature for the permanent membership of the UN Security Council.
Prime Minister Modi expressed India’s deep appreciation for the support extended by Luxembourg for India’s candidature to various international and multilateral institutions, including the important role played by Luxembourg in India’s entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and its continuing support for India’s participation in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
Earlier Prime Minister Modi said as the world is struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic led economic and health challenges, the India-Luxembourg partnership can be useful for the recovery of both countries from such challenges.
He also said that ideals like democracy, rule of law and freedom, strengthen relations and mutual cooperation between India and Luxembourg.
“Currently, we have good cooperation in areas like steel, financial technology, digital domain - but there is immense potential to take it further. I am happy that a few days ago our space agency launched four satellites from Luxembourg. We can further enhance mutual exchanges in the field of space as well,” the Prime Minister said.
While welcoming Luxembourg’s announcement of joining the International Solar Alliance – ISA, he invited the European country to join Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.
The Prime Minister also said that he hopes to welcome Henri, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, soon in India. “In April, the Grand Duke`s visit to India had to be postponed due to COVID-19. We hope to welcome him soon. We wish to see you too soon in India,”
Prime Minister Modi.
Significantly, in the joint statement on virtual summit between the two countries, the two Prime Ministers, besides talking high about strengthening economic and financial cooperation, noted positively about the ongoing space cooperation including in the domain of satellite broadcasting and communications.
They 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 looked forward to early finalization of the cooperation instrument in the area of exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful purposes, currently under discussion between the two governments.
The two leaders agreed that COVID-19 had accelerated the digitization 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.
In higher education and research, the leaders noted with satisfaction the ongoing collaboration in the field of neurodegenerative diseases between Indian partner institutions such as the National Brain Research Centre and the Luxembourg Institute of Health and the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine.
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.
On culture and people-to-people ties, 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.
Prime Minister Bettel highlighted that the design of this commemorative stamp was based on the bronze bust of Mahatma Gandhi located in the Municipal Park in Luxembourg City, a work of art created by the Indian modernist artist Amar Nath Sehgal (1922-2007), who lived between India and Luxembourg for two decades.
The two Prime Ministers agreed that enhancing people-to-people exchanges is essential for strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries. In this regard, they welcomed the positive contribution of the Indian diaspora in Luxembourg, which is rapidly growing in numbers and adding to its rich diversity.
To further strengthen mobility, they shared the intent for a swift conclusion of a Migration and Mobility agreement, as well as an agreement on an exemption of visas for holders of diplomatic and official/service passports, between India and the Benelux.
On COVID-19 pandemic, the two leaders discussed the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including its health and socio-economic consequences, and expressed their resolve to combat the pandemic.
They underlined the need for global solidarity to respond effectively to the pandemic to ensure sustainable socio-economicpost-COVID-19 recovery, and to stimulate economic development and financial resilience.
They agreed to continue their cooperation, including within the India-EU partnership framework, to strengthen preparedness and response capacities, sharing information in a free, transparent and prompt manner, and improving international response including through relevant international organisations, such as the World Health Organisation (WHO).
On EU-India relations, the two leaders acknowledged the importance of the India-EU Strategic Partnership rooted in shared principles and values of democracy, freedom, rule of law, and respect for human rights, for contributing to a safer, greener and more stable world.
In this context, they expressed satisfaction at the successful India-EU virtual summit held on July 15, 2020 and expressed support for further intensification of the India-EU relationship, including through strengthening cooperation in areas of common interest in the Indo-Pacific region, and through comprehensive, sustainable and rules-based connectivity.
Prime Minister Modi appreciated the constructive role played by Luxembourg over the decades as one of the founding members of the European Union in support of stronger India-EU ties.
In this context, Prime Minister Bettel underlined the high priority attached by Luxembourg to further deepening and intensification of India-EU relations and noted that both India and the EU have a common interest in each other’s security, prosperity and sustainable development.
The two leaders acknowledged that developing the India-EU economic relations will be important in the context of post-COVID-19 economic recovery. In this context, they expressed their commitment to working towards balanced, ambitious, and mutually-beneficial free trade and investment agreements.
With regard to multilateral cooperation, the two leaders expressed their determination to promote effective and reformed multilateralism and a rules-based multilateral order with the United Nations (UN) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) at its core. They also affirmed their commitment to cooperate in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the protection of the environment and combating climate change.
In this context, the leaders expressed their commitment to the implementation of the Paris Agreement including with regard to nationally determined contributions in line with this agreement.
The two leaders shared the intention to reinforce their cooperation in the International Solar Alliance (ISA) to promote the deployment of solar energy and in the International Platform on Sustainable Finance (IPSF) to mobilise private capital towards environmentally sustainable investments. Prime Minister Bettel announced Luxembourg’s intention to join the International Solar Alliance.
Furthermore, they expressed their readiness for cooperation to implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction to prevent new and reduce existing disaster risks, and in this respect, looked forward to India-EU cooperation within the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI).
Prime Minister Bettel expressed Luxembourg’s deep appreciation for India’s support for Luxembourg’s candidatures at the United Nations, including Luxembourg’s candidature to the UN Human Rights Council for the term 2022-2024.