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Foreign Minister S Jaishankar meets German counterpart Heiko Maas to discuss counter-terrorism

Most of their discussions focused on bilateral and global issues, some of them included multilateralism, connectivity, climate change, technology issues, counter-terrorism issues.

SNS | New Delhi |

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met with his German counterpart Heiko Maas in Berlin on Wednesday and discussed a range of bilateral and global issues including counter-terrorism, climate change, multilateralism, connectivity, and technology among others.

Jaishankar, who also inaugurated the Indian pavilion at the Berlin International Film Festival, thanked the German Foreign Minister for his country’s “strong support” for the expanded India-EU cooperation.

In his interaction with reporters, he said, “We have had a very good discussion this afternoon. I think if my memory serves me right, this is the fifth time in the last six months we are meeting, in New York, in Paris, in India, in Munich and now out here”. Speaking about the Munich Security Conference earlier in the week, Jaishankar said it was the first time that an Indian foreign minister participated.

“Today we had an opportunity really to sit down and review our bilateral relations, regional issues, global issues.”

“And apart from the meeting today, yesterday I also had a meeting with the Minister of Defence, Kramp-Karrenbauer, and with the minister of the Economy and Energy Minister Altmaier and a lot of these discussions are about taking forward our strategic partnership and building on the discussions which our Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) and (German) Chancellor (Angela) Merkel had at the fifth India-Germany intergovernmental consultations in India last year,” he said.

Jaishankar said India and Germany have very broad-based relationships, more than 30 mechanisms between the two countries and these are mechanisms not only between governments but also there are aspects of it that impact students, professionals, economy, business, people to people, civil society.

“Where the foreign policy is concerned, what I do want to emphasize today is that as liberal democracies our common values to help us in achieving the convergences, in terms of how we evaluate global challenges and opportunities and we certainly do discuss shared concerns like terrorism, extremism, I think on many of these we have common evaluations and clearly a stronger working relationship,” he said.

Most of their discussions focused on bilateral and global issues, some of them included multilateralism, connectivity, climate change, technology issues, counter-terrorism issues.

“We also spent a little time discussing India and the EU, a relationship in which we greatly value the role and influence of Germany.

“We had a discussion on what we call the Indo-Pacific, where I shared our perspectives on Afghanistan, on the Middle East and the Gulf. And we discussed our working together in the Alliance for Multilateralism. I conveyed our strong support to the Minister,” the External Affairs Minister said.

He said that in India, “we are very proud of our traditions and confident of our future, and we do believe that the future is an internationalist future”.

India appreciates the Alliance for Multilateralism because multilateralism is under threat, under stress from both nationalism and mercantilism, and it believes in the centrality of the UN, in the relevance of the WTO to international trade, Jaishankar said, adding that the country believes multilateralism should be recognised, preserved and protected.

“Now, as liberal democracies we also share with Germany our belief that adherence to international law is critical. If regimes and institutions are to be credible, they must also be contemporary and we therefore also discussed how to expedite the reforms of the United Nations including the UN Security Council.”

“I was very gratified to hear from the minister the support for two initiatives that India has taken, multilateral initiatives, the International Solar Alliance and the Coalition For Disaster Resilient Infrastructure. I will certainly welcome greater German interest and participation,” he added.

On Tuesday in Brussels, he met top leaders of the European Union and held wide-ranging talks on key issues such as combating terrorism, climate change and enhancing economic cooperation, that would “benefit both India and the EU”