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Next Indo-EU summit scheduled for the end of 2015

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Brussels: The next summit between the European Union and India, is expected to be held by the end of this year, probably in November, after a gap of nearly three years, according to EU and Indian officials.

Manjeev Singh Puri , Ambassador of India to the EU, Belgium and Luxembourg, speaking at an event on EU-India ties in Brussels on Tuesday, said “we hope we will be able to put together the big event that we believe can kickstart at the highest political level before the year is over.”

“There are conversations going on that. Politics has an important role to play. It has a leadership thrust ability, it has the ability to push things forward,” he noted.

“But I believe, that business, on the other hand is that engine which results in political leaders, and everyone else looking to move things forward,” he stated.

The speaker of the Lok Sabha, Sumitra Mahajan, will be leading a large parliamentary delegation to Brussels next week, to strengthen bilateral parliamentary ties, announced Puri.

On his part, Zoran Stancic, European Commission Deputy Director-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology , said he “fully agrees that the long due summit, which hopefully we will have this year could be a good opportunity where our political masters get together.”

The event titled ‘Europe, India and Modi – One year on’ was organised by a Brussels-based think tank, Friends of Europe, in association with Europe India Chamber of Commerce and Tata Consultancy Services.

The moderator of the event, Shada Islam, Director of Policy at Friends of Europe, lauded the Indian prime minister saying “Modi has been shaking up India, and shaking up the world perception of India.”

“It is high time that the EU and India get their relationship to a new start. The sooner we get the deal on a free trade agreement, the better,” she said.

Speakers also addressed the issue of boosting the EU-India trade and investment flows, which are still at a modest 72.5 billion and 5 billion euro respectively.

Another topic raised was- how to overcome the present stalemate in negotiations on an EU-India Free Trade Agreement.

Other speakers at the event included Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Tata Consultancy Services, Shishir Bajoria, a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party and head of the Bajoria Group of Industries and Luisa Santos, Director for International Relations at the think tank BusinessEurope. (IANS)

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U.S. And South Korea Work Towards Improving Diplomacy With North Korea

About one hour before the scheduled meeting, around 40 Korean-Americans gathered near the near the White House in a show of support for President Moon, chanting slogans like “Peace maker president” and “We love Moon!”

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White House
US President Donald Trump welcomes South Korean President Moon Jae-in to the White House in Washington, DC, April 11, 2019. RFA

South Korean President Moon Jae-In and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed Thursday to keep up diplomacy with North Korea, including possible new summit talks with the North’s leader Kim Jong Un, but the allies disagreed on the level of economic sanctions needed to press Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons.

At their first meeting since Trump’s failed Hanoi summit with Kim Jong Un in February, Trump argued for keeping in place sanctions designed to starve the North’s nuclear and missile programs of hard currency, while saying he was open to meeting Kim a third time.

“We want sanctions to remain in place,” Trump said at the White House, according to U.S. media. “I think that sanctions right now are at a level that’s a fair level.”

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Kim is “a person I’ve gotten to know very well, and respect and hopefully, and I really believe over a period of time, a lot of tremendous things will happen. I think North Korea has a tremendous potential,” Trump told reporters before the talks. VOA

“There are various smaller deals that maybe could happen,” Trump said. “You could work out step-by-step pieces, but at this moment, we’re talking about the big deal. The big deal is we have to get rid of the nuclear weapons.”

Moon did not mention sanctions directly in his White House appearance, but he has called for sanctions relief to coax North Korea to begin nuclear disarmament.

North Korea experts say that Moon, who wants to remove curbs on inter-Korean economic projects, would privately lobby Trump for a gesture to keep Kim engaged in the diplomacy.

The Vietnam summit ended in disagreement over how Kim might shed its nuclear arsenal, as Trump demands and the sanctions relief that Kim seeks as a reward for cooperating.

Trump, who also met Kim in Singapore last year, said: “I enjoy the summits, I enjoy being with the chairman.”

Kim is “a person I’ve gotten to know very well, and respect and hopefully, and I really believe over a period of time, a lot of tremendous things will happen. I think North Korea has a tremendous potential,” Trump told reporters before the talks.

Moon said he was hopeful that a third U.S.-North Korea summit would happen. His national security adviser said Thursday that Moon would also try to have another meeting with Kim.

Bruce Klingner, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation think tank in Washington, told RFA that the disagreement about sanctions shows a rift between the U.S. and South Korea in terms of North Korea policy.

“It showed two allies remain far apart on approach to North Korea. President Moon wants to reward North Korea even though there has been no movement in denuclearization. The U.S. said it has no interest in that approach,” he said.

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U.S. President Donald Trump agreed Thursday to keep up diplomacy with North Korea, including possible new summit talks with the North’s leader Kim Jong Un, but the allies disagreed on the level of economic sanctions needed to press Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons. Pixabay

Richard Bush, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution said, “I give President Moon credit for trying to engage President Trump on [the North Korea] issue and trying to get closer alignment in our strategy toward North Korea. It appears that his attempt didn’t make too much progress.”

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About one hour before the scheduled meeting, around 40 Korean-Americans gathered near the near the White House in a show of support for President Moon, chanting slogans like “Peace maker president” and “We love Moon!”

Meanwhile, a smaller group of 10 Korean-Americans chanted phrases in support of Trump’s hard line on North Korea and accused Moon of being a North Korean spy. (RFA)