Addressing a joint press conference in Berlin, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday said they conducted a comprehensive review of bilateral relations and discussed new and upcoming opportunities and challenges in Asia, Europe and across the world. Modi, who is in Germany as part of his four-nation tour, held talks with Merkel under the framework of India-Germany Intergovernmental Consultations (IGC). The two leaders believe there has been a quantum jump in Indo-German economic cooperation. They signed eight deals concerning various sectors.
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“Whether it be bilateral relations, humanitarian issues, regional or global issues, every discussion with the Chancellor has been very beneficial for me,” Modi said. “The pace of development of our relations is fast, the direction is positive and the destination is clear. Germany will always find India as a powerful, prepared and capable partner,” Modi added. This is Modi’s second visit to Germany since he became the Prime Minister.
Regarding climate change, PM Modi said, “It is our duty to secure the future of the next generation. India has taken on an ambitious project to generate renewable energy.” He added that climate protection and living in harmony with nature is a part of the ethos of India.
Merkel said India knows climate change is a major challenge for all of us. She added that India’s increasing use of solar energy is ‘impressive’. India and Germany’s collaboration in areas like renewable energy is gaining momentum.
The two leaders also spoke about the menace of terrorism. “Terrorism poses a grave threat to future generations. Humanitarian forces must unite to combat the menace,” Modi said. He also added that cyber-security must be addressed in real time.
“The threat terrorists poses in India and Europe. This is going to be placed on the G20 agenda,” Merkel added.
“India has proved to be a reliable partner. We have been able to deepen cooperation,” she said.
Regarding skill development, Modi said, “Germany’s extensive work in skill development, which has set the standards globally, can benefit the youth of India. India is giving an impetus to next-generation infrastructure and this is an area in which we want to work extensively with Germany. We have fast-tracked investments from Germany under the Make in India initiative.” He added that the India is also working with Germany to improve its sporting prowess, especially in football.
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The two sides signed a joint declaration of intent on cyber politics, development initiatives, sustainable urban development, continued development of cluster managers and skill development, cooperation in the field of digitalisation, cooperation in the field of railway security, promoting vocational training and continued cooperation on an Indo-German centre for sustainability.
Earlier today, Modi received a ceremonious reception in Berlin, where he is on a two-day visit. After his meeting with Merkel, he is expected to make a courtesy call to German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. After his visit to Germany, Modi will head to Spain, Russia and France.
(With inputs from PTI)