EU eyes close ties with India to counter terror, cyber crime

The European Union is keen to enhance ties with India in fields like counter-terrorism, cyber security and anti-piracy operations and both the sides are working to chart out common agendas.

"We want to increase cooperation with India in areas of counter-terrorism, counter-piracy and cyber security. We are at the stage of identifying common agendas," EU External Action Service Chief Operating Officer David 'O' Sulllivan said while interacting with a group of Indian journalists.

On the issue of counter-terrorism, EU officials said agencies concerned of the two sides were engaging each other to enhance their cooperation.

They said India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) and EUPOL (EU POLICE) have held meetings in recent past and talks with CBI have also been held.

"We have gathered some experience in the field of counter-terrorism and shared it with India," EU officials said, adding that the two sides have also discussed the possibility of extradition of criminals wanted by India residing in EU territory.

Asked about India's complaint over problems in extraditing criminals from Europe, they said it was a sensitive issue for EU member countries who have strict legal procedures in this regard.
In over two decades, India has sought extradition of several wanted terrorists from Europe but had little success besides Abu Salem's extradition from Portugal. But that was done after Lisbon imposed strict conditions.

On counter-piracy operations, they said the Indian Navy and EU Naval Forces (ENNAVFOR) are already cooperating in the piracy infested Gulf of Aden.

EUNAVFOR operates a fleet of four warships under Operation Atalanta in the Gulf of Aden. It has now been granted permission by EU to destroy pirate logistics bases situated along the Somali coastline without putting their boots on the ground.

Indian forces have been deployed in the Gulf of Aden from October 2008 and operate independently there. It has been advocating for a UN-led operation there, but the EU and America-led Navies have been continuing there on their own.
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