Germany and India celebrating 60 years of diplomacy | Asia| An in-depth look at news from across the continent | DW | 31.05.2011
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Asia

Germany and India celebrating 60 years of diplomacy

Wide-ranging talks were held between Indian PM Manmohan Singh and German Chancellor Angela Merkel that included discussions on the intensification of trade, investment, nuclear energy cooperation and regional issues.

Merkel receives the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru award, one of the Indian government's highest political accolades

Merkel receives the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru award, one of the Indian government's highest political accolades

India and Germany have called for reforms in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to reflect the changing world realities and power equations. German chancellor Angela Merkel who is finishing her day-long visit backed India's demand for reforms in the UN Security Council to reflect the changing global order.

Germany and India want to be permanent members of the UN Security Council

Germany and India want to be permanent members of the UN Security Council

Both Germany and India currently have non-permanent seats in the UN Security Council. At a joint press conference after their talks Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the Security Council still represented the world of 1945 and must be reformed. He said as members of the G4, Germany and India "have been arguing for a long time that the global system particularly the composition of the Security Council and its methods of working needs to be brought up to date in line with contemporary realities."

Terrorism

Terrorism in the region and the security situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan were among the host of issues discussed during the first Indo-German inter-governmental meeting with both leaders asserting that terrorism will have to be fought on all fronts and not selectively.

The German chancellor emphasized that stability in Afghanistan was vital for the region, saying: "We face similar challenges in the fight against terrorists on the one hand. And on the other hand we are united in the wish that Afghanistan may become a state that takes security matters into its own hands. India is very committed to that, as is Germany. In many areas we have also set up military missions in Afghanistan to stabilize the country."

Merkel and Singh seem to see eye to eye on manny issues

Merkel and Singh seem to see eye to eye on manny issues

Merkel also pointed out that Germany would be hosting the next conference on Afghanistan by the end of the year which will address the issue of the reconciliation process in detail.

Security

Eyeing the multi-billion dollar deal to supply 126 medium multi-role fighter aircraft (MMRCA) to India, the chancellor also tried to hard sell the Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet, claiming that it was the best plane on offer. Germany is part of the consortium producing the Eurofighter Typhoon which is competing with the French made Rafale fighter for the contract.

This is Merkel's first visit to India since 2007

This is Merkel's first visit to India since 2007

"We wish to expand our production and research and development base and encourage more technological transfers," said the Indian prime minister, adding, "India offers a stable and friendly investment climate and a large growing market."

While Merkel is in India, she will receive the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru award, one of India’s biggest political honors. This year, Germany and India are celebrating their 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations. To commemorate this occasion, Germany will showcase a 15-month series of events in various cities in India.

Author: Murali Krishnan
Editor: Sarah Berning

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