Friday, March 31, 2023

PM Modi, German Chancellor Scholz hold talks


India has been pressing for resolving the Ukraine “dispute” through dialogue and diplomacy and it stands ready to contribute to any peace process, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday after holding talks with visiting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who stressed the need for a “clear stand” by countries in the UN on the crisis.
The one-year-old conflict and its consequences including on food and energy security figured during the talks between the leaders besides ways to ramp up overall bilateral engagement, including in areas of trade and co-development of defence platforms, with Scholz assuring his “personal” involvement in the finalisation of India-EU free trade pact.
In his statement at a joint media event with Modi, the German Chancellor described the Russian “aggression” against Ukraine as a “major catastrophe” that has negatively impacted the globe and said it is important for the countries to state “very clearly where we stand” on the war at the UN as international law governs international relations.
On his part, Modi said, “since the beginning of the developments in Ukraine, India has insisted on resolving this dispute through dialogue and diplomacy. India is ready to contribute to any peace process.”
Referring to the destruction in Ukraine including to its energy grids and infrastructures as well as the overall consequences of the Russian invasion and stressed that developing countries were being negatively impacted by energy and food shortages resulting from the war.
“But above all, it is a disaster, a catastrophe because we know this war violates a fundamental principle to which we had all agreed for such a long time, and that is that you do not change borders through the use of violence,” he said.
“Thus, it is important that in the United Nations too, we time and again state very clearly where we stand on this subject matter,”he said.
Asked whether the comments by the German Chancellor were a message to India and whether there were divergent views between the two countries on the conflict, Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra said he only saw “understanding and appreciation” of each other’s perspective on the matter.
“It was the Indian Prime Minister who openly stated in Samarkand that this is not the era for war. In the discussion, I would say, I only saw understanding and appreciation of each other’s perspective,” the foreign secretary told reporters at a briefing.
The two sides also unveiled an ‘India-Germany Vision to Enhance Cooperation in Innovation and Technology’ and finalised a letter of intent between the Department of Science & Technology and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems for Cooperation in green hydrogen and clean energy technologies.
The two sides also took stock of the situation in the Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of increasing Chinese assertiveness.
Scholz arrived here this morning on a two-day India visit, a day after the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine that saw the US and its European allies renewing their resolve to strongly back Kyiv and mount pressure on Moscow including through fresh economic sanctions.


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