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German defence min lauds India’s efforts in Afghanistan

German Defence Minister Ursula Von Der Leyen talked of seeking India’s opinion on a White Paper that Berlin will prepare on security. She added the Western countries were planning to strengthen the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

Observers feel that Leyen was hinting of taking New Delhi into a tighter embrace with the Western nations. The minister was speaking to a gathering of Delhi’s policy elite at a seminar hosted by the Observer Research Foundation.

Leyen was highly appreciative of the India’s involvement in Afghanistan specifically referring to the shiny, new Parliament building that India has built in Kabul. “A stable Afghanistan is in the interest of all…. Germany has had 15 years of engagement in the country. There will be a security collaboration between Germany and India,” she said.

She did not forget to push the case of her nation for helping the country on Project 75I submarine building. In fact, German shipbuilding major HDW, type 214 is considered one of the possibilities for partnering in building Indian subs.

The minister was highly appreciative of the Lion in the ‘Make in India’ logo. In effect, she meant partnering India is a high priority for the German industry. She welcomed a dialogue between two private sectors of the two countries.

Replying to a question on the induction of women in the armed forces, Leyen said that the armed forces of the two countries share the “best practises.” “Germany inducted women in the armed forces 12 years ago. People had to get the <g data-gr-id="32">prejudicesout</g> of themselves,” she said. The minister added women and men can do anything they set their minds on. For women, the only problem is putting extreme physical labour.”
Pinaki Bhattacharya

Pinaki Bhattacharya

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