Wednesday, May 22, 2024

India and Germany ink mobility pact, discuss key global challenges

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India and Germany on Monday inked a mobility partnership pact and held comprehensive discussions on key global challenges including the Ukraine conflict, the situation in Afghanistan and cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan.

At a media briefing after talks with his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said the mobility pact will make it easier for people to study, do research and work in each other’s country and is a strong signal for a more contemporary bilateral partnership.

Jaishankar also strongly defended India’s import of crude oil from Russia and noted that it is largely driven by market forces.

From February to November, European Union has imported more fossil fuel from Russia than the next 10 countries combined, he said in a sharp retort to a question on why India has been procuring crude oil from Russia.

The German foreign minister arrived here this morning on a two-day visit to discuss ways to further expand bilateral cooperation in a range of areas including energy, trade, defence and security and climate change.

At the joint media briefing, Jaishankar said that India’s position on the Ukraine issue is clear that this is not an era of war and that the conflict should be resolved through dialogue.

The visiting German foreign minister described India as a role model for many countries and noted that Berlin wants to bolster its security cooperation with New Delhi.

Asked about challenges facing the region from China, Baerbock said there is a need to assess the threats while describing Beijing as a competitor and rival in many ways.

We now know what happens when a country becomes too dependent on another that doesn’t share the same values,” Baerbock said.

Jaishankar said the situation in Afghanistan and cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan figured in the talks. He asserted that there can’t be talks with Pakistan if it continues cross-border terrorism.

Earlier in a statement, the German foreign minister described India as Germany’s “natural partner” and said that the country will have a decisive influence in shaping the international order in the 21st century.

“The Indian government has set itself ambitious goals not only in the G20 but also at home for its own people. When it comes to expanding renewable energies, India wants to push ahead with the energy transition more than before. Germany stands by India’s side,” she said.

The dramatic effects of the climate crisis affect us all, destroying livelihoods in Europe as well as in India, the visiting German minister said.

“That we want to strengthen our economic, climate and security policy cooperation with India beyond our strategic partnership, are not empty words,” she stressed.

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