India, EU set to sign civil N-deal

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NEW DELHI: India and the

European Union

have finalised an agreement on

civil nuclear cooperation

, being negotiated for 13 years, which is expected to be announced at a

virtual summit

between the two sides on Wednesday. The Indian delegation at the summit will be led by PM Narendra Modi while the European side will be headed by European Council president Charles Michel and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen. The summit had initially been planned for March 13 but had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.
EU officials told journalists that a ‘Roadmap 2025’, which is still being negotiated, would also be signed. This would cover bilateral cooperation across 25 key sectors as diverse as climate change and defence, security, maritime and urban planning, among others. Both sides would start a

human rights dialogue

, the officials announced.
The two sides will set up a high-level committee to work out

the Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement

(BTIA). EU officials said India’s “protectionist policies” were a hurdle to closer trade and investment ties. India has floated a model investment treaty text which hasn’t been acceptable to other countries.
The two sides are expected to unveil a five-year roadmap to further broadbase ties, launch separate dialogue on maritime security and boost trade and investment besides kicking off a process for effective cooperation between the CBI and Europol, they said.
The political and security discussions will include dialogue on China, the US and Russia, EU officials said.
Multi-lateralism is a big part of the India-EU conversation, EU officials said. “India is an important partner in the UNSC and a future president of the G20 in 2022,” an official said. A joint statement will be issued at the end of the summit on Wednesday.

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