Sushma Swaraj departs for home after tour to Germany, Egypt

Berlin, Aug 27: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday left for home after holding talks with her German counterpart on a range of bilateral issues and reviewed proposals including a USD 1 billion commitment from Germany for an ambitious solar power venture in India.

Swaraj and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeir held wide-ranging talks where they assessed implementation of decisions taken during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit here in April and broadly identified possible substantive outcomes from Chancellor Angela Merkel's forthcoming visit to New Delhi in October.

Sushma Swaraj to return to India

Both Swaraj and Steinmeir underlined the need to have closer security and defence cooperation between India and Germany considering the threat of terrorism. They discussed regional issues including India-Pakistan relations and the situation in Afghanistan.

"The meeting was very warm and very positive meeting which will further strengthen the India-Germany strategic partnership. And lead to a very fruitful and substantive outcome during Chancellor Merkel's visit which is eagerly anticipated in India," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup told PTI here.

Swaraj and Steinmeir underlined the need to have closer security

Swarup said Swaraj and Steinmeir discussed specific proposals including a USD 1 billion financial commitment by Germany for a "very ambitious solar rooftop project", its participation in projects like high speed rail corridors, raising speed of existing trains, Ganga rejuvenation plan, smart cities project and skill development schemes.

He said both leaders agreed to cooperate in cyber security and counter-terrorism measures besides underlining the need to go for co-production in the defence sector.

Merkel is scheduled to visit India in the first half of October for Inter-Governmental Consultations which will be a summit meeting between Prime Minister Modi and her.

Asked whether the issue of threat of terrorism figured in the meeting, Swarup said it was discussed as it is a major challenge for both countries and the idea was to step up security cooperation on a whole range of issues.


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