National / World

EU hopeful of speedy resolution of Italian marines issue


New Delhi, Feb 18 (IANS): The European Union Wednesday expressed hope that a "speedy" resolution to the Italian marines issue would be found and that it would be according to the requirements of both sides.

European Union Ambassador Joao Cravinho, to a media query here, also said that a seven-eight member European parliament team would be visiting India in mid March.

To a question on the Italian marines, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, who are charged with killing two Indian fishermen, the EU envoy said that he hoped a decision would be arrived at soon "in conformity with Indian law and international law".

He also expressed hope that India would use its good offices with Russia to intercede in the Ukraine crisis as India has shown an increasing level of engagement on big issues on the global stage.

"We hope that India, in its interactions with Russia, should express concerns with regard to territorial integrity (of Ukraine), with regard to maintenance of ceasefire agreements that was agreed upon," Cravinho said, adding" "We welcome the involvement of India."

Cravinho said the EU sees many "intersections" in the initiatives listed by the Narendra Modi government and the bloc, especially in the field of growth and jobs, Digital India, urban development and counter terrorism.

He also hoped that talks on a India-EU Free Trade Agreement would get a fillip under the Modi government.

The talks on the FTA, launched in June 2007, were last held in May 2013. The negotiations for the proposed Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) between India and the 28-member European bloc has witnessed many hurdles.

He said there have been contacts on regular basis between both sides, informal contacts. "Hope the circumstances are good," he said.

Cravinho, to a question on troubles with Greece, said the EU has a strong commitment to Greece that it remain a member of the bloc and did not forsee it impacting India in any way.

On climate change and the forthcoming conference in Paris, the EU envoy said all countries including India must have a strong commitment to cut emissions. But he said the EU understands India's position and its requirement for sustained growth.

 


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