Germany, India have broad-based ties, will build on close cooperation: Merkel

PTI

PM Narendra Modi welcomes Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany at a Ceremonial Reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.

PM Narendra Modi welcomes Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany at a Ceremonial Reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.

A number of agreements will be signed between India and Germany signifying their broad-based ties and the “very close” relationship between the two countries, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday.

She made the remarks after being received by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Rashtrapati Bhavan where she was accorded a ceremonial welcome after arriving here on Thursday night on a two-day visit.

Speaking to reporters with Prime Minister Modi by her side, Merkel said she was delighted to be in India for the fifth Inter-Governmental Consultations.

“I would like to thank the prime minister for the very warm and gracious welcome with which we have been received here. This is my fourth visit to India and I look forward to the very interesting programme,” she said.

“Germany-India are linked by very close ties. We will have discussions on issues of mutual interest. We also have the opportunity of signing a number of MoUs and agreements that shows that we have a very broad-based and deep relationship,” Merkel said.

Germany and India have been cooperating for many years and will build on this cooperation in future, the German chancellor said.

“This is a very close relationship. We have great respect for this vast country and its diversity,” she added.

Merkel will pay tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat later in the day.

She will then co-chair the fifth IGC with Prime Minister Modi, following which the two leaders will make press statements and a raft of agreements will be signed between the two sides.

Merkel will be holding talks with Modi on a host of bilateral issues and nearly 20 agreements are expected to sign between the two countries, the sources said.

Merkel will call on President Ram Nath Kovind in the evening and will also hold a meeting with the prime minister at his Lok Kalyan Marg residence.

On Saturday, the German leader will meet a business delegation and visit Continental Automotive Components India Pvt Ltd in Manesar near Gurgaon.

Before heading home, the chancellor will also visit the Dwarka Sector 21 Metro Station.

Ahead of the visit, German envoy to India Walter J Lindner had said the Modi and Merkel have a “very good relationship and they can talk about any issue. I do not want to anticipate what the two leaders will be talking about”.

He was responding to a question on whether the Kashmir issue will be discussed between them.

(PTI)