External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock inked a mobility partnership pact on Monday, which will make it easier for people to study, do research and work in each other’s country.
“Signing of mobility pact between India and Germany is a strong signal of basis for a more contemporary bilateral partnership,” news agency PTI quoted Jaishankar as saying. Baerbock said, “It is important to stay together when world is facing difficult situations.”
At a joint media briefing afterwards, Jaishankar defended India’s decision to import crude oil from Russia, saying that the process was driven by market forces. “From February to November, European Union has imported more fossil fuel from Russia than the next 10 countries combined,” he said.
Jaishankar also said the situation in Afghanistan and the cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan were among the topics he discussed with the German foreign minister. He added that India cannot hold talks with Pakistan if it continues cross-border terrorism.
Baerbock added that Germany wants to “bolster security cooperation with India”. “India is a role model for many countries globally,” she said.
On Ukraine, Jaishankar said that India’s position is clear that this is not an “era of war and the conflict should be resolved through dialogue.”
Talking about the challenges posed by China in the region, Baerbock said there was a need to assess the threats. She described the country as a competitor and a rival in many ways.
“We now know what happens when a country becomes too dependent on another that doesn’t share the same values,” she said.
Baerbock is in New Delhi for a two-day visit, four days after India formally took over the G20 presidency. Her visit will involve discussions to further expand bilateral cooperation in a range of areas including energy, trade, defence and security and climate change.
In a statement earlier, Baerbock said “The Indian government has set itself ambitious goals not only in the G20 but also at home for its own people. When it comes to expanding renewable energies, India wants to push ahead with the energy transition more than before. Germany stands by India’s side”.
Ways to expand bilateral economic engagement and defence collaboration figured prominently in a meeting last month between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chancellor Olaf Scholz on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Bali.
(With PTI inputs)