New Delhi – India and the EU on Wednesday signed agreements on trade, technology and security cooperation, and India underscored what officials said was a turning point in relations between the two sides by announcing a plan to spend US$2.2 billion (¤1.76 billion) on new Airbus planes.
The pact and the airline deal were signed at a European Union-India summit in the Indian capital, where British Prime Minister Tony Blair said there was evidence of
Intensifying relations between Europe and the emerging economic powerhouse of South Asia.
"This does mark … a significant change, a turning point in relations," Blair, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency, said of the India-EU agreements.
At the summit, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced that state-owned India Airlines would buy 43 airliners from French-based European consortium Airbus for US$2.2 billion (¤1.76 billion). He didn”t release details, but the Press Trust of India news agency reported the airline would purchase 19 A-319s, four A-320s and 20 A-321 aircraft by 2010.
A joint statement released after the summit said India and the EU had pledged to boost anti-terrorism cooperation and crack down on terrorist financing and money laundering, The Associated Press reported.