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Merkel Gets Tweet Welcome as She Flies in to Firm Up Ties

Merkel accompanied by six federal ministers arrived in Delhi, eyeing easier Germany-India business ties, prod India to do more on climate change.

Published: 05th October 2015 05:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th October 2015 05:29 AM   |  A+A-

Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel being received by the Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha on her arrival at the Air Force Station Palam in New Delhi. |PTI

NEW DELHI: German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived here late Sunday night, accompanied by six federal ministers, with the aim of making it easier for German firms to do business in India and prod New Delhi to do more on climate change.

Merkel 1.jpgAs soon as she landed at the Palam air force station,  Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Namaste Chancellor Merkel! Warm welcome to you & the delegation. I look forward to fruitful discussions & strengthening India-Germany ties.” Minister of  State for Finance Jayant Sinha received her. 

Incidentally, Merkel has had to change her plane to a more spartan Airbus A310 of the German Military, after her official plane developed a technical  snag. German media reported that she was forced to travel in a military cargo plane named after Kurt Schumacher, who headed the Social Democratic Party after the Second World War. On Monday, Modi and Merkel will lead the third Indo-German Inter-governmental Consultations, which have been dubbed ‘joint mini-cabinet meeting’ — the most broad-based talks Germany holds with any other country. “Focus of the Inter-governmental Consultations will be on the areas of economy, security, vocational training, science, technology, clean energies, climate and development cooperation,” said a press release from the German Embassy.

Merkel.JPGGerman Ambassador Martine Ney had earlier indicated that Merkel would certainly be asking the Prime Minister to do more to improve business environment for firms, especially on taxation and corruption issues. A high-ranking business delegation is also accompanying the German Chancellor.

She is likely to ask India to resume talks for a free trade agreement, which had been stalled by New Delhi which is unhappy over a variety of terms. Germany is India’s largest trading partner in the European Union.



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