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EU pledges aid, advice to Saarc, Safta

Financial Express, India

EU pledges aid, advice to Saarc, Safta

Political Bureau

31 March 2007

NEW DELHI, MAR 30: The European Commission (EC) has offered to share expertise and experience in all areas of interest to South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) as well as in the implementation of the South Asia Free Trade Agreement (Safta).

Ahead of the Saarc summit in New Delhi from April 3, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, European commissioner for external relations in the European Union (EU) also conveyed her strong support to the Saarc heads of states and governments.

She said “even as the EU celebrates its 50th anniversary, it sees itself as a natural partner in all efforts aimed at reinforcing regional co-operation, people-to-people contacts and trade liberalisation in South Asia, which will bring benefits to all.”

The central theme of the Summit-Reconnecting South Asia and the members of SAARC with each other and the larger Asian region-is particularly pertinent. The declaration stated that the EU has come a long way to achieve peace, stability and the free movement of persons, goods, services and capital beyond national borders.