Merkel, Modi push trade ties and climate action

30 May 2017

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for greater cooperation among nations of the world even as the two countries signed 12 agreements, including on cyber cooperation, development cooperation, education and railway safety.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel A comprehensive joint statement issued at the end of the 4th India Germany Inter-Governmental Consultations in Berlin said the two sides discussed a whole range of issues, including agreements, including clean coal, electric mobility, science and technology cooperation, cyber-security and aviation security.

The Indian prime minister is also reported to have told the German Chancellor during in talks in Berlin on Tuesday that India would stay in the Paris climate accord even if the United States pulled out.

Addressing the media after the meeting, Prime Minister Modi said an outcome oriented momentum is perceptible in relations between the two countries.

He appreciated Chancellor Merkel's vision for Europe and for the world.

The Prime Minister said foreign investment from Germany to India is rising, especially for the Make in India initiative. He said German partnership is important for the Skill India Mission, with German parameters being "global benchmarks" which are crucial for India.

The prime minister said cooperation is also envisaged in the sports arena, particularly in football.

Modi spoke of themes such as climate protection and smart cities, which came up for discussion. He said German innovation and Indian youth could together add great dynamism in the start-up space.

The prime minister said a global order based on democracy is the need of the hour, in an interconnected and interdependent world.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday that Germany wanted to develop its ties with India, but said this should not be at the cost of its trans-Atlantic relationship. Modi, after his meeting with Merkel said Berlin is "a very reliable partner".

Merkel, who on Sunday reacted sharply to US President Trump's comments saying it is an era in which Europe could rely on its partners was somewhat over, repeatedly stressed the importance of trans-Atlantic ties despite Trump.

Prime Minister Modi reiterated India's timeless values of nurturing and protecting nature. He recalled India's commitment to generate 175 GigaWatts of energy from renewable sources by 2022. Emphasising the importance of protecting nature, the prime minister said "playing with the well-being of future generations would be an immoral and criminal act."

Earlier, during the IGC, Modi emphasised the big role that the European Union has to play in nurturing a rule-based global order. Both leaders shared deep concern over the global menace of terrorism, and decided to strengthen mutual counter-terrorism initiatives.

Modi thanked Germany for support of Indian membership of export control regimes. Themes such as clean coal, electric mobility, science and technology cooperation, cyber-security and aviation security came up for discussion. The consultations also touched upon Afghanistan and other global matters.

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