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India, Germany sign four pacts to expand ties

Discussion in 'World Economy' started by Varad, May 31, 2011.

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  1. Varad

    Varad Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    India, Germany sign four pacts to expand ties

    New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) India and Germany, Europe’s economic and technological powerhouse, Tuesday signed four pacts to expand their cooperation in areas relating to education, research and nuclear physics as the two countries resolved to push for reforms of the United Nations Security Council and combat terrorism.
    The pacts were signed after wide-ranging talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and German Chancellor Angela Merkel that included discussions on intensifying trade and investment, nuclear energy cooperation and UN reforms.
    Seeking to expand their strategic partnership, the two countries reviewed the situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan and resolved to fight terrorism on all fronts. They also discussed the situation in Libya.
    ‘We discussed the developments in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Terrorism is a serious challenge which will have to be fought on all fronts and not selectively,’ Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said a joint press conference with Merkel after wide-ranging talks with her. She is here on a day-long working visit to India, her second visit to this country.
    ‘India and Germany have the same goal in Afghanistan, as an independent country with security in its hands. Afghanistan should develop an independent security architecture,’ Merkel said, adding that Germany will be hosting the next conference on Afghanistan towards the end of the year.
    Merkel also made a pitch for the German-led four nation consortium EADS’s Eurofighter Typhoon in the race to win the $10.4 billion deal for 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft that the Indian Air Force plans to buy.
    ‘With the Eurofighter we have made good proposals and want to intensify our relationship with India. The Eurofighter is the best product on offer,’ she said.
    Merkel, however, stressed, that she will not exert any influence on the procurement process and ‘we shall wait and see’.
    Competition has intensified after the IAF’s trials shortlisted the Eurofighter Typhoon and the French Dassault Aviation’s Rafale aircraft last month.
    The expansion of the UN Security Council figured prominently in the discussions.
    ‘Germany and India are members of G4. We have been arguing for a long time that the global system needs to be brought up to date in tune with contemporary realities,’ Manmohan Singh said. ‘The new realities of the global scene have to be taken into account in looking at reform of the global structures of governance,’ he said.
    Merkel could not agree more, saying Germany and India will work together for getting a permanent seat in the UN Security Council. She also stressed on ‘speeding up the process of the UN reforms.’ Both Germany and India currently hold rotating non-permanent seats in the UN Security Council.
    A day after Germany announced it will phase out all its 17 nuclear plants by 2022, Merkel agreed to help India in areas related to nuclear safety and pledged support for the development of renewable energy. ‘Germany will champion nuclear safety standards and help India achieve a broad energy energy base. It’s a policy we can support,’ Merekl said. ‘We will ensure that the safety of nuclear plants are world-class,’ she said, adding that her country, which is a leader in wind and solar energy, was also ready to help in the area of renewable energy.
    Manmohan Singh stressed that India needed nuclear power to meet its growing energy demand and to adhere to its self-imposed obligations to combat climate change. ‘Nuclear energy accounts for only three per cent of total energy generated in our system. As of now our capacity is less than 5,000 MW. We want to raise it to 20,000 MW by 2020,’ he said.
    ‘If India is to meet its emission (control) targets then nuclear energy and emphasis on renewable energy is required. We must have the option of make use of nuclear energy together with coal,’ he said.
    On Monday, Germany made a dramatic announcement, saying it will phase out its 17 nuclear plants, with the last one expected to shut down by 2022.
    Germany had backed a waiver for India in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in September 2008 and has now conveyed it’s readiness to support New Delhi’s membership of the elite nuclear club.
    Germany is India’s largest trading partner in Europe, with bilateral trade estimated to be 15.5 billion euros. Germany has invested 2.7 billion euros in India. The two sides set target of scaling up trade to 20 billion euros by 2012 as India sought more German investment in areas of high-technology and infrastructure.

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