Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not be visiting Brussels after India and the European Union decided to call off the India-EU summit in view of advice by health authorities due to the global coronavirus outbreak, the Ministry of External Affairs announced Thursday.
“As far as India-EU Summit is concerned which PM Modi had to attend, the health authorities of both the countries suggested that travelling must not take place at present. So, it has been decided that summit will be rescheduled on a mutually convenient date,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in his weekly media briefing.
“The decision has been taken in the spirit of close cooperation between the EU and India who share the same concerns and commitment to global health and hope that the outbreak is contained soon,” Kumar added.
According to the World Health Organization, as many as 8 cases of coronavirus have been detected in Belgium so far.
Coronavirus outbreak: Follow LIVE updates here
The India-EU summit, which was likely to be held on March 13, comes just after the EU Parliament in January deferred a vote on a joint draft resolution on Kashmir and the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The Indian government had called the postponement of voting as a “diplomatic victory” for the country.
In his briefing today, Kumar also said no case of any Indian being affected by coronavirus in Iran has emerged and that Indian embassies across the world are on the job to help Indians.
MEA on Delhi riots: ‘Situation returning to normal’
On criticism by global bodies over the violence in the national capital, Kumar said the situation in Delhi is fast returning to normal and law enforcement agencies are doing their best.
Violent clashes broke out between pro and anti-CAA groups near Jaffrabad in northeast Delhi on February 23. The clashes claimed at least 53 lives so far and left over 200 injured. A large number of properties were also damaged as frenzied mobs torched houses, shops, vehicles, a petrol pump and pelted stones at locals and police personnel.
Countries including Indonesia, Turkey and Iran had conveyed their concerns over the riots to India.
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