Modi, Merkel vow to take strong steps against terror
Warning that terrorism poses a grave threat to future generations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said forces of humanity should come together to combat the menace as India and Germany vowed to take "strong measures" against those who encourage, support and finance it.
India on Tuesday thanked Germany for backing its membership bid in the Nuclear Suppliers Group as the two countries supported each other's candidature for a permanent seat in a reformed UN Security Council.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed their commitment to "strengthen global non- proliferation efforts," said a Joint Statement issued after their meeting here.
He made the remarks after over an hour-long wide-ranging talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on a host of key issues like trade, skill development and climate change.
"The pace of development of our relations is fast, direction positive and destination clear. Germany will always find India as powerful, prepared and capable partner," Modi said at a joint press interaction with Merkel.
After the talks, the two sides signed 12 MOUs/agreements in fields like cyber policy, development initiatives, sustainable urban development, continued development of cluster managers and skill development, digitalisation, railway security and promoting vocational training.
The two sides also issued a joint statement after Modi and Merkel held the fourth India-Germany Intergovernmental Consultations (IGC).
The two leaders underlined their common concern about the threat and global reach of terrorism and extremism while condemning terrorist violence in all its forms and manifestations, the joint statement said.
"They agreed on the need to take strong measures against all those who encourage, support and finance terrorism, provide sanctuary and safe havens that sustain and support terrorist groups and organisations," it said.
India and Germany hailed their closer collaboration in countering these challenges through regular meetings of the Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism.
They also called for finalisation and adoption of Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, it said.
Making a reference to terrorism, Modi said it was a big problem that faces future generations and all forces of humanity must come together to fight the menace.
"Both our countries will work together to tackle this problem together and cyber security and intelligence sharing is a very important aspect of this cooperation," he said.
Modi's remarks assume significance as they come in the wake of a spate of terror attacks that have struck European countries like Germany, France, the UK and Sweden recently. The latest terror attack to have rocked Europe was at a concert in Manchester where a suicide bomber blew himself up, killing 22 people.
Modi said a comprehensive review of bilateral relations was undertaken during the talks with Merkel.
"A quantum jump in economic relations can be seen between India and Germany and an outcome-oriented momentum can be seen building," he said.
"At the last IGC in New Delhi, we had set up a fast-track system for German companies to invest in India and that has shown very good results, especially the Mittlestand (medium enterprises) companies," Modi told reporters.
On her part, Merkel said India has proved to be a reliable partner and the two sides have been able to deepen cooperation.
Modi also made a call for European Union (EU) unity and said India would play a positive role in enhancing that through Germany.
In a major boost to Merkel, who has been fighting against secessionist tendencies within the economic bloc since the Brexit vote in June last year, the prime minister praised her "strong leadership".
"EU unity, proactiveness and strong relations with other countries is extremely important for global development. We want the EU to become stronger and India will play a positive role towards that through the medium of Germany," Modi said.