Marking the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between New Delhi and Berlin with issuance of a special stamp, India’s Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla described Germany as one of India’s “most important friends in the European Union” and called for enhanced cooperation to shape “a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.”
Addressing an event to mark the release of a postage stamp on the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, Mr Shringla underlined that India will work with Germany on a “convergent vision” of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region as part of enhanced strategic engagement between the two countries.
“Last year, Germany became the second European country to issue guidelines for the Indo-Pacific, which we welcome. We look forward to working with Germany on our convergent vision of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region,” he said at a virtual event, which was also joined by German ambassador to India Walter Lindner and Vineet Pandey, secretary in the department of posts.
The post-pandemic global order will require concerted efforts by like-minded countries to ensure that multilateralism and a rules-based international order are respected by all, he said.
“India and Germany must therefore continue to enhance the level and quality of their strategic engagement. We both have unique strengths that we can synergise to be a force for good in the world,” he added.
Alluding to the May 8 India-EU summit, Mr Shringla said that the recommencement of negotiations on an India-EU trade and investment agreement augurs well for the future of economic ties with Germany.
Regular institutional engagements at higher political levels have lent momentum to India-Germany ties, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chancellor Angela Merkel have met 12 times in the past seven years, Shringla noted. The two countries also consult closely at multilateral and international organisations, and engage on issues such as counter-terrorism, cyber-security and climate change, he said.
India became one of the first countries to establish diplomatic ties with the then Federal Republic of Germany on March 7, 1951. In recent times, the two sides have extensively cooperated in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic in scientific research and supply of health-related products and equipment.
Mr Shringla also thanked the government and people of Germany for this “timely and helpful gesture” of supporting India during the deadly second wave of the pandemic by supplying oxygen-related equipment, essential drugs and raw materials.
In the early days of the pandemic, India supplied hydroxychoroquine and other pharmaceutical products to Germany.
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