French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday came out in the support of India as he expressed solidarity with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the India-EU virtual summit attended by 26 other EU.
The virtual summit was attended by Germany’s Angela Merkel and the EU president Ursula von der Leyen amongst others where Macron highlighted India’s vaccine exports to several countries in the time of the pandemic.
In response to the COVID-19 vaccine shortage and criticism aimed at the Indian government, Macron asserted that India does not need to be ‘lectured from anyone’ on vaccine supplies.
“India does not need to listen to lectures from anyone about vaccine supplies. India has exported a lot for humanity to many countries. We know what situation India is in,” the French President said.
As per MEA data, India exported COVID-19 vaccines to as many as 95 countries as part of its “Vaccine Maitri” initiative.
Emmanuel Macron also insisted that the immediate priority for the developed countries should be to first donate more doses to poor countries.
“Evidently, we must turn this vaccine into a global public good,” he said claiming that the European Union is leading the way in vaccine donations and called for the United States and Britain to share more, too.
He said that “Europe is the most generous continent with the rest of the world,” having exported 45 million doses, and expressed hope that “the British, the Americans and others will follow.” He added that “In the short term, this is what will allow us to vaccinate.”
The India-EU leaders’ meeting is hosted by Prime Minister of Portugal Antonio Costa. Portugal currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
“We are opening a new chapter in #EUIndia strategic partnership at the meeting of EU Leaders with PM @narendramodi,” tweeted Charles Michel, President of the European Council.
— Charles Michel (@eucopresident) May 8, 2021
He said the two sides are launching negotiations on three agreements — trade, investment and geographical indications.
(With PTI inputs)