New Delhi: Seeking to expand their strategic partnership, India and Germany on Tuesday discussed a host of issues including situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan during first Indo-German Inter-governmental meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asserting that terrorism will have to be fought "on all fronts and not selectively". JPN/Agencies
Led by Singh and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who arrived here this morning, the cabinet meetings between the two sides saw wide-ranging talks on bilateral, regional and international issues such as cooperation in the strategic areas of defence and security, trade and UN Security Council reforms.
"We discussed the developments in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Terrorism is a serious challenge which will have to be fought on all fronts and not selectively," Singh told a joint press conference with Merkel.
"India and Germany have the same goal in Afghanistan, as an independent country with security in its hands. Afghanistan should develop an independent security architecture," Merkel said.
Four pacts inked
India and Germany also inked four pacts to expand their cooperation in areas relating to education, research and high-tech areas like nuclear physics.
Merkel also made a pitch for the German-led four nation consortium EADS's Eurofighter Typhoon in the race to win the $10.4 billion deal for 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft that the Indian Air Force plans to buy.
“With the Eurofighter we have made good proposals and want to intensify our relationship with India. The Eurofighter is the best product on offer,” she said.
Germany to support India in N-safety
Pledging support for the development of renewable energy, Germany agreed to support India in areas related to nuclear safety.
“Germany will champion nuclear safety standards and help India achieve a broad energy base. It's a policy we can support,” Merekl said at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after talks between the two leaders.
“We will ensure that the safety of nuclear plants is world-class,” she said.
N-power for energy demand
Manmohan Singh stressed that India needed nuclear power to meet its growing energy demand and to adhere to its self-imposed obligations to combat climate change.
“Nuclear energy accounts for only three per cent of total energy generated in our system. As of now our capacity is less than 5,000 MW. We want to raise it to 20,000 MW by 2020,” he said.
Asked about nuclear energy safety norms, Singh said every effort would be made to ensure that all safety norms in the generation and utilisation of nuclear energy are "world class".
"Today our nuclear energy is three per cent of our total energy generation. Our capacity is less than 5,000 MW. We want to raise it to 20,000 MW by the year 2020," he said.
He said if India has to meet the emission targets, the country will have to have a combination of nuclear energy and renewable energy sources.
Speed up for permanent UNSC seat
On UNSC reforms, Singh said both India and Germany were of the opinion that the body should reflect the contemporary reality of the world and were hopeful of a positive result.
"Germany and India are members of G4. We have been arguing for a long time that the global system needs to be brought up to date in tune with contemporary realities. The
new realities of the global scene have to be taken into account in looking at reform of the global structures of governance," Singh said.
On her part, Merkel said Germany and India will work together for getting a permanent seat in the UN Security Council and stressed on "speeding up the process of the UN reforms".
Both Germany and India are currently non-permanent seats in the UN Security Council.
Germany largest trading partner
On the trade front, Singh noted that Germany was India's largest trading partner in Europe and was one of the most important partners for technological collaboration and joint research and development.
"It is also amongst the largest foreign investors in India. Our bilateral trade was more than 15 billion Euros last year, and is on course to reach the target of 20 billion Euros
per year by 2012," he said.
Singh also reiterated India's desire to have greater German investment in India, particularly in the areas of infrastructure, high technology, energy and basic and applied sciences.
"We wish to expand our production and R&D base and encourage more technology transfers. India offers a stable and friendly investment climate and a large growing market. I welcome the progress that is being made on the issue of high technology exports from Germany to India. This will benefit both economies," the Prime Minister added.
New Delhi: Seeking to expand their strategic partnership, India and Germany on Tuesday discussed a host of issues including situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan during first Indo-German Inter-governmental meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asserting that terrorism will have to be fought "on all fronts and not selectively".