India, Germany ink 22 pacts to deepen bilateral cooperation

NEW DELHI, India and Germany signed on Friday 22 agreements to enhance bilateral cooperation in areas of mutual interest.

The deals were signed after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in New Delhi, Indian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

During their talks, the two sides affirmed their strategic partnership is based on common values and principles of democracy, free and fair trade, and rules-based international order, as well as on mutual trust and respect, said the ministry.

They also discussed several issues of mutual concern including defense, trade, investment, security, fight against terrorism, digital transformation, artificial intelligence, sustainable economic growth, cooperation on climate change and building a reliable international order.

Meanwhile, Modi and Merkel expressed their strong concerns on global threat of terrorism and their resolve to jointly combat it, calling all countries to work towards rooting out terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupting terrorist networks and financing channels, and halting cross border movement of terrorists.

They also emphasized the need for stronger international partnership in countering terrorism and preventing violent extremism through increased sharing of information and intelligence, and in full compliance with the human rights law and international humanitarian law.

Both sides stressed the need for increasing bilateral trade and investment and underlined the importance of a balanced Free Trade Agreement between India and the EU.

The Indian-German talks also agreed to deepen efforts to restart negotiations between the EU and India on the Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement.

Modi and Merkel also discussed the latest developments in Afghanistan and appreciated each other for their positive engagement in the war-torn country.

“Both leaders reiterated their commitment to a stable, united, prosperous, pluralistic and peaceful Afghanistan,” the statement said, adding Frankfurt’s role at co-organizing an Intra-Afghan Dialogue was appreciated by New Delhi.

The inked Indian-German cooperation agreements and MoUs were related to fields of Artificial Intelligence, partnership for green urban mobility, cooperation on strategic projects, consultations between the ministries of foreign affairs, cooperation in the fields of space, civil aviation, smart cities, prevention of marine litter, skills development and vocational education and training.

They also included strengthening bilateral economic cooperation in the field of start-ups, agricultural market development, re-habilitation and vocational training of insured persons and workers with disabilities, cooperation in inland, coastal and maritime technology, establish and expand scientific and technological research cooperation, academic collaboration in Ayurveda, yoga, and meditation.

Moreover, the signed Indian-German agreements included bilateral cooperation in fields of higher education, agricultural technical and professional training, skills for sustainable growth, and national museums, in addition to migration and mobility partnership.

Merkel arrived in India earlier on a two-day trip to take part in the fifth Inter-Governmental Consultations.

The German Chancellor, who met President Ram Nath Kovindwas following her arrival, is accompanied by a high-level delegation that includes ministers of foreign affairs, science, education, food and agriculture.

Source: Kuwait News Agency