The annual India-EU Summit, which was to be held in Brussels on 13 March, has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, the External Affairs Ministry announced today.

The decision to postpone the summit has been taken in the spirit of close cooperation between India and the EU which share same concerns and commitment to global health and hope that the outbreak would be contained soon, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told the media. “Both sides have agreed that due to the health authorities advising against travel between regions, it would be wise to reschedule the summit to a later mutually convenient date,” he added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was to lead the Indian delegation at the summit.

Modi would, however, go ahead with his trip to Bangladesh on 17 March to participate in the birth centenary celebrations of ‘Bangabandhu’ Sheikh Mujibur Rehman, the father of current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the spokesperson confirmed.

He recalled that when Sheikh Hasina visited India last year, she specifically invited Modi for the celebrations.

The spokesperson said there would also be a bilateral component of Modi’s visit to Bangladesh, the details of which would be shared later.