On Board Special Air India Aircraft: President A P J Abdul Kalam today favoured the formation of an European Union-like grouping in South Asia to foster economic progress and technological advancement in the region.
Speaking to reporters accompanying him on a visit to France and Greece, Kalam, when asked about a EU model in South Asia, said “why not? I admire the fact that 27 nations who have battled it out for years together, which also led to two world wars, have come together for the prosperity of the region.
“They have their problems regarding economy and other things but when it comes to the development of the entire region, they are together and this is what is called a confluence of communities”, he said.
The President said “countries may have differences like in European Parliament but all countries in this union are economically stable, democratic by nature and technologically advanced.”
Kalam also said he was looking forward to his address at the European Parliament tomorrow, the first ever by an Indian leader, during which he would focus on “dynamics of the unity of nations”.
With speculation mounting on the presidential elections about 10 weeks away, incumbent A P J Abdul Kalam may not be averse to a second term in office.
Facing a volley of questions from reporters accompanying him on a visit to France and Greece on whether he wished to continue for a second term, Kalam was non-committal but did not categorically reject such a possibility.
“What I am saying is the only issue that anyone coming to this post has to always keep the nation bigger than himself or herself...For me the nation has always been bigger than myself and it will continue to remain so,” said Kalam, who is on a five-day visit to Europe.
Sources close to Kalam said he would like to continue if a political consensus on his name was arrived at.
“Let me finish my work as my mind is working on the visits to the European Parliament and Greece,” Kalam said while closing questions on his continuance for a second term.