Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said the European Union (EU) and India should work closely to bring peace, stability, and development in Afghanistan.
"In places like Afghanistan, India and the EU can forge closer cooperation for the benefit of the people of Afghanistan and for the cause of peace and stability in the region. Wherever possible, India and the EU must join forces to tackle the root causes of terrorism," Anastasiades said in a keynote address at the India Trilateral Forum 12, organized by Observer Research Foundation, in association with the Government of Sweden and German Marshal Fund, here on Thursday.
Pointing that terrorism and political instability go hand in hand, the President said Cyprus had been consistently making the case for tackling the root causes of terrorism and this requires joining forces.
"In our region, in Syria, Iraq, and Libya, political instability has allowed radical organizations such as the ISIL to fill in the vacuum in an absence of political leadership. The result has been chaos and an unprecedented flow of migration. Likewise, India faces significant migration flows from Afghanistan, and has suffered from terrorism," he said.
He pointed out that the major challenges that Europe faced were very much the same that India must address. Attacks in Brussels, Istanbul, Saint Petersburg, Dhaka, Egypt, Stockholm, London and elsewhere were a tragic proof that we were facing a sophisticated global terrorist threat, from which no country was immune, he said, adding the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack was a stark reminder that the challenge is common.
Anastasiades said Cyprus was stepping up its efforts within the European Union, calling for a strengthened international legal framework.
Calling for an increased cooperation in trade, the President of Cyprus said the multipliers of a Free Trade Agreement, in the context of an ambitious EU-India Strategic Partnership in the 21st century, were enormous.
He said the EU and its Member States possessed tremendous expertise and know-how, in the very areas where India wished to take huge modernisation leaps, and where Prime Minister Modi set an ambitious agenda: Make in India, Clean India, Digital India, Smart Cities, and other significant initiatives, like the International Solar Alliance.
The Republic of Cyprus has strongly supported the signing of the FTA, and will seize the opportunity to engage actively with India in sectors like renewable energy, most notably in solar energy and natural gas, in shipping and financial services, new applications of thermal energy in medical sciences and pharmaceuticals, in advanced university research and people-to-people contacts, he added.
He said one of the main pillars of his visit had been to strengthen cooperation in the economic field, and his delegation included over 60 businessmen, who participated in Cyprus-India business forums in Mumbai and in New Delhi.