Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock will be in Delhi on December 5-6 for a two-day visit and is scheduled to hold bilateral talks with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
Announcing the visit last week, India’s Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said both the leaders will hold discussion on “bilateral issues as well as regional and global issues of mutual interest”. A spokesperson in the German government said: “In Baerbock’s talks with her Indian counterpart, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, India’s relationship with China is likely to be discussed in addition to the Russian war against Ukraine and its consequences, for example in the energy sector.”
In a statement on Monday, Baerbock said: “The fact that India has managed to lift more than 400 million people — almost as many as people in the EU — out of absolute poverty in the last 15 years is impressive. It shows that social plurality, freedom, and democracy are a motor for economic development, peace, and stability. Working on this together with strengthening human
rights is also our task."
She added: “At the G20 summit in Bali, India showed that it is ready to play its role globally. The clearer positioning of the G20 against the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine is ultimately also thanks to India. I will also sign a mobility agreement in New Delhi that will make it easier for our people to study, do research and work in each other’s country.”
As strategic partners, India and Germany have had a longstanding relationship underpinned by common values and shared goals. In fact, in 2021, both countries commemorated 70 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
In 2022. India and Germany had several high-level engagements, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Berlin for the sixth India-Germany intergovernmental consultations and the subsequent visit of Prime Minister Schloss Elmau for partner countries of the G7 meeting at the invitation of Chancellor Scholz.
The German minister’s Delhi visit comes in the backdrop of the global consequences of the Russia-Ukraine conflict which has dragged on for the tenth month now. A spokesman for the Federal Foreign Office in Germany said on Friday in Berlin that during the two-day visit, cooperation in energy transition away from oil, coal and gas will be on agenda.
Last week, Germany had announced a proposal to provide €1 billion for energy transition projects in India under a bilateral partnership for green and sustainable development. Germany will fund over 20 development projects during the next year. German ambassador Philipp Ackermann said the funding, including 10 per cent grants and 90 per cent in the form of lines of credit, will support India’s efforts in the fields of renewable energy, sustainable urban development in smart cities and sustainable use of natural resources.
Baerbock will visit projects for renewable energies and sustainability in the rural surroundings of capital New Delhi.
The German minister will also visit the Election Commission. Meetings are planned with representatives of civil society and non-governmental organisations working for women’s rights.
India took over the presidency of the G20 group of leading economic powers on December 1. The minister will also participate in a trilateral India forum of the transatlantic foundation German Marshall Fund, which is about cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. The forum is an annual meeting of American, European and Indian experts from politics, think tanks and business at different locations. It has developed into a leading platform for transatlantic and European dialogue with India
Baerbock’s visit will also prepare ground work ahead of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s visit to India expected early next year. Prime Minister Modi had visited Germany in May 2022 for the annual consultations between New Delhi and Berlin followed by another visit to take part in G7 summit-level meetings.
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