External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that India and European Union (EU) stand shoulder to shoulder and united by shared values and principles in the midst of complex challenges to global peace and security. A community reception was organised as part of ‘A Night of India in Belgium’ to honour Swaraj at the Centre for Fine Arts in Belgium. Addressing a gathering at a cultural event, in Brussels, Swaraj said, “As robust democracies, we share values of liberty, equality, pluralism and respect for rule of law. As multicultural and multilingual societies, both India and Belgium are also accustomed to celebrating diversities and differences within our people.”
She further highlighted that India looks forward to ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) summit scheduled to be held in Oct 2018 where Vice President Venkaiah Naidu will be leading our delegation. “We’re confident such regular engagements between India and EU will further enhance our partnership,” she added. Talking about the recent high-level political engagements between India and Brussels, Swaraj reminisced Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the capital in March 2016, and said that it significantly revitalised the bilateral agenda of the two countries. Marking the occasion of 4th International Yoga Day, Swaraj said Yoga has become a major bridge of culture between Belgium and India.
“Belgium welcomed Yoga into their lives several decades ago and is today a major bridge of culture between Belgium and India. There’s no better image of Yoga than that of Queen Elizabeth of Belgium performing ‘Shirshasana’ at the age of 85 years,” she added. Earlier on Thursday, Swaraj addressed the European Parliament in Brussels on the occasion of the fourth International Yoga Day. She hailed the practice of yoga as the “most powerful means for uniting India”. Sushma is in the last leg of her week-long tour. Before Belgium she visited Italy, France and Luxembourg. The External Affairs Minister will return to India on June 23.