Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s six-day four nations visit is a major initiative to build a new architecture in the backdrop of a serious challenge to the crumbling post World War II global order.
The rapid rise of China and reneging of the US from its international and multilateral commitments, along with Washington’s retreat into bilateralism under US President Donald Trump’s administration, has thrown up serious challenges for world leaders.
After the one hour long talks under the framework of India-Germany Intergovernmental Consultations on May 30, global terrorism, climate change, role of free trade, importance of investment protection and bilateral cooperation in skill development, tapping of solar energy and urban development were given special focus.
“Pace of development of our relations is fast, direction positive and destination clear. Germany will always find India as powerful, prepared and capable partner,” Mr Modi said at a joint press interaction with Chancellor Merkel.
Following talks between the delegations of two countries led by Modi and Merkel respectively, the two sides also signed 12 MOUs/ agreements in areas of cyber policy, development initiatives, sustainable urban development, continued development of cluster managers and skill development, digitalization, railway security and promoting vocational training.
The two sides vowed to take strong measures against those who encourage, support and finance terrorism.
The two leaders expressed their common concerns about global reach of terrorism and extremism while condemning terrorist violence in all forms and manifestations, a joint statement said and added that two countries “agreed on the need to take strong action against all those who encourage, support and finance terrorism, provide sanctuary and safe havens that sustain and support terrorist groups and organizations.”
Hailing their closer cooperation in countering these challenges through regular meetings of the Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism, the statement called for finalization and adoption of Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
The two countries agreed to continue cooperation towards the common aim of developing climate friendly, efficient and sustainable solutions for India’s expanding energy needs and other areas of sustainable development.
Modi and Merkel also held meeting with senior business leaders of the two countries before inaugurating the Indo-German Business Summit 2017.
In the light of threats to free trade, the two leaders pointed out to the potential of open markets and the importance of investment protection for foreign investors for deepening trade relations and for attracting investments to the mutual benefit of both countries.
“They also reaffirmed their strong commitment to the EU-India Broad Based Trade and Investment Agreement and their commitment to bring about a resumption of the negotiations at the earliest possible date. This would, inter alia, allow establishing provisions for the mutual protection of new foreign investments,” the statement stated.
Germany also backed India’s bid for the Nuclear Supply Group (NSG) while both countries, being part of the G-4, restressed upon the urgent need for a comprehensive reform of the UN Security Council, including the expansion in both permanent and non-permanent categories of membership, to make it “more effective, efficient and responsive” to the existing challenges to international peace and security and representative of the corresponding contemporary geo-political realities.
Modi’s first stop in Germany to hold talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel on host of bilateral and global issues was aimed at tapping points of convergence and create synergies between two countries.so that strengths of the two could be used not only for mutual benefits but also for shaping and stabilizing the emerging international order.