New Delhi: The first-ever summit between India and 27 EU member nations began Saturday (May 8, 2021) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling EU leadership to support Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) waiver at WTO for COVID-related treatments and vaccines.
Last week, the US had extended support for the wavier, which came in the backdrop of PM Modi and US President Joe Biden's talks. The wavier will help in the increasing the production of COVID-19 vaccines which in turn would help in easing the global situation.
This is the second time such format of the meet has been conducted. In March, US President Biden meet with EU member states.
During the summit, several EU leaders individually thanked India for the medical supplies provided in 2020 as Europe was battling the novel coronavirus pandemic. All the EU leaders extended solidarity and support to the people of India and the government amid the COVID-19 crisis.
French President Emmanuel Macron pointed out that India does not need to "listen to lectures from anyone" about vaccine supplies. He highlighted that India has exported a lot of vaccines for humanity. Spain PM Pedro Sánchez warmly recalled India's assistance when the former was reeling under the COVID-19 crisis.
Portuguese PM António Costa in the presence of all EU leaders proudly referred to his status as an OCI (Overseas Citizenship of India). Costa is the son of writer Orlando da Costa, who was born in Maputo to a family of Goan extraction.
Portugal is the President of the Council of the European Union and the virtual India-EU Leaders meet is being hosted by Portugal PM Costa.
Belgian PM Alexander De Croo greeted PM with "Kem Chho". Of the 7,000 people of Indian origin people living in Belgium a large number of Gujaratis are in Antwerp, the diamond capital of the world.
Meanwhile, over 4.01 lakh (4,01,078) fresh COVID-19 cases and 4,187 deaths were reproted from India in the last 24 hours, as per the Union Health Ministry data on Saturday (May 8). The total caseload surpassed the 2.18-lakh mark (2,18,92,676), while the death count climbed to 2,38,270.