New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday virtually joined the meeting of the European Council, as a special invitee at the invitation of European Council President, Charles Michel. During the meeting, the leaders of the 27-member bloc assured their support to India as it battles with the devastating second wave of Coronavirus.Also Read - India Records 4.01 Lakh Fresh COVID Cases, Single-Day Deaths Cross 4000 For First Time

PM Modi thanked the leaders of the EU and its Member States for their continued commitment to strengthening the relationship with India. “Our collaboration is essential to stopping the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuring a sustainable and inclusive recovery in a more digital and greener world,” he tweeted.

“Taking forward the commitment to transform India-EU relationship for global good, I had a virtual interaction with all leaders of EU Member States and Presidents @CharlesMichel @eucopresident and @vonderleyen for India-EU Leaders’ Meeting,” Modi added.

“Today’s meeting with Narendra Modi could not be more timely. The EU stands at India’s side in this most challenging time. We will also discuss how to further strengthen our strategic partnership. The EU and India can achieve a lot more by working “Ek Saath” – together,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a tweet.

“We deeply condoled the loss of lives and expressed the deepest sympathy with the families of the victims of this pandemic in India, Europe and the rest of the world,” read a joint statement on India-EU leaders’ meeting.

“India appreciated the EU’s & its Member States’ quick support & assistance, coordinated through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, thus keeping the spirit of solidarity and cooperation that has been the hallmark of India-EU relations,” the statement went on to add.

French President Emmanuel Macron acknowledged when India helped humanity by exporting key supplies to many countries, reported News18. Likewise, Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez also recalled India’s support when the pandemic devastated his country last year, the report further added.

“17 EU Members States have supported a worth over 100 million Euros of supply that has been brought to India & is being brought in the next days through the EU Civil Protection mechanism & further assistance will follow,” Ursula von der Leyen further said.

Following the meeting, MEA Secy (West) Vikas Swarup said, “As you’d recall, India had kept its supply chains open during first wave of COVID19 last year & supplied essential drugs & masks to several EU countries. EU’s current assistance is example of trusted partners supporting each other in times of need.”

PM Modi participated in the meeting along with the Heads of State of all the 27 EU Member States. The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell also participated in the meeting.

The previous EU-India summit was held on July 15, 2020, via video conference. EU and India leaders adopted a joint statement, a five-year roadmap for the EU-India Strategic Partnership and a joint declaration on resource efficiency and circular economy.