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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the President of the European Commission Ursula Von Der Leyen discussed cooperation between India and the European Union and at the G20 level on combating the challenge posed by the spread of the coronavirus, which has infected almost 400,000 people worldwide and claimed more than 17,000 lives.

During a telephone conversation on Tuesday, Modi and Von Der Leyen “discussed possible cooperation within the G-20 framework, and the forthcoming video-conference in this context", an Indian foreign ministry statement said.

The leaders of 20 developed and developing countries are to meet via video link on Thursday to discuss issues related to the economic impact of the Covid-19 spread.

“The Prime Minister expressed his condolences on the loss of life in the European Union due to Covid-19. He emphasized on the need for coordination and cooperation among all the countries to fight the pandemic. The Prime Minister also dwelt on the steps taken by India for containing the spread of coronavirus infection," the statement on the conversation said.

“Ms. Von Der Leyen mentioned that the Prime Minister’s leadership in taking early measures has been the key to preventing a rapid spread of the disease in India. She also expressed her appreciation for the assistance rendered to the European citizens in India in this situation," it said.

Von Der Leyen emphasized the importance of maintaining a steady supply of essential items, including medicines and coordinated efforts for vaccine development, the statement added.

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