New Delhi: External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar on Saturday said that Europe is a natural partner for a more ambitious India and while ties with larger members have consolidated, India has sought a deeper relationship with the EU collective.
Delivering the Sardar Patel Memorial Lecture 2020, Jaishankar said Europe was a region full of capabilities, resources and best practices.
“The partnership with France has assumed strategic connotations, ties with Germany are coming into their own, there is greater engagement with sub-regions of Europe, definitely more conversations with Brussels, and probably, a refreshing of traditional ties with UK. As a region full of capabilities, resources and best practices, Europe is a natural partner for a more ambitious India,” he said.
“So far as Europe is concerned, India’s engagement in recent years has transcended the focus on its larger members. Those have been consolidated, even as we have sought a deeper relationship with the EU collective,” he added.
The minister, who spoke on `India and the Post-Covid World’ said COVID-19 pandemic has been the most devastating global event in living memory for most people.
“What we can clearly see is that at the level of individuals, families, societies or even nations, many prospects have changed significantly. There are, of course, opportunities embedded in this crisis and their realization will be one test of leadership,” he said.
“At a collective level, we are still limited by our imagination to fully grasp the complications of an era we have now entered. And it is when contemplating these uncertainties that came upon us so suddenly, that the value of leadership in difficult circumstances is really recognized. In the history of modern India, few symbolize that more appropriately than Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel,” he added.