S. Jaishankar’s visit to Sweden for EU Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar held talks on various issues like Indo-Pacific, Ukraine war, bilateral ties etc. with his Swedish counterpart Tobias Billstrom during his three-day visit to Sweden.

External Affairs Minister of India S. Jaishankar landed in Stockholm on Friday for his first visit to the country as the External Affairs Minister. He has participated in the second EU Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum (EIPMF). He also held bilateral talks with Swedish officials on the sidelines of the EIPMF summit.

India-EU relations have also been discussed as Sweden currently holds the presidency of the European Union Council. He also attended the Inaugural session of the India Trilateral Forum comprising India, Europe, and the US on Monday.

He also interacted with the Indian diaspora in Sweden on Saturday, where he discussed the transformation happening in India and the growing India-Sweden relationship. He said that “Indians have established a global reputation”. This visit is very significant as this year mark 75 years of diplomatic relation between Sweden and India.

The relationship between the two countries was established in 1948, a year after India gained independence. Since, then both countries have been trying to carry forward their relationship as both countries have a mutual commitment to world peace, common economic interest, and shared democratic values.

During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Sweden in 2018, both countries signed a Joint Innovation Partnership. In 2016 then Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven was invited by Prime Minister Modi as a chief guest at Make in India event. The very next year, in 2017 Sweden also hosted a major Make in India event. The India-Nordic Summit was launched in the year 2018 which was a breakthrough in India-Nordic relations.

This summit has also given a boost to India-Sweden relations. S. Jaishankar also met with Sweden’s Defence Ministers Pal Jonson on Sunday, they discussed regional & global security and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

He held a meeting with Swedish PM Ulf Kristersson on Monday and appraised the Commitment of Ulf toward strengthening the relations between the two countries. He also met with National Security Advisor of Sweden Henrik Landerholm and Parliament Speaker of Sweden Andreas Norlen. EAM Jaishankar tweeted that during his meeting with the Swedish NSA, both leaders exchanged strategic assessments of Europe and the Indo-Pacific.

Second EU Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum in Sweden-

The first EU Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum (EIPMF) meeting was held in 2022 in Paris. And this was the 2nd meeting of the EIPMF which was being held in Sweden on Saturday. The very aim of the forum is to strengthen the partnership between the EU and important Indo-Pacific nations. This Forum highlights the goal and ambition of the European Union Nations to strengthen relationships and engagement with key countries of the Indo-Pacific region and improve cooperation with them.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar stated in the forum that the “European Union has major stakes in the Indo-Pacific region”. Around Sixty foreign ministers from the Indo-Pacific region and the EU attended the meeting. Mr. Jaishankar met with his counterpart from France, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, and Romania on the sidelines of EIPMF on Saturday.

Indo-Pacific region is central to global politics and holds a plethora of interests and for that reason, it is very necessary to keep the region free from any type of influence and monopoly. Issues like climate change and digital disparity have also been discussed. It is a shared vision of EU countries to work for a free, open, prosperous, and inclusive Indo-Pacific with the partnership of countries of the Indo-Pacific region. EAM Jaishankar also talked about the need to De-risking the global economy and the exigency of trust and transparency in the digital domain. He also pointed out various other possible areas of collaboration between the EU and the Indo-Pacific region during his address at the Forum.

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