BERLIN: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday met German Chancellor Olaf Scholz here and the two leaders discussed key areas of bilateral cooperation under the overall strategic partnership, as well as regional and global developments.
Modi arrived in Berlin on Monday morning on the first leg of his three-nation Europe trip that will also take him to Denmark and France.
Prime Minister Modi was received by Chancellor Scholz in a ceremonial welcome at the Federal Chancellery in Berlin upon his arrival for talks.
He was accorded the Guard of Honour at the forecourt of the Federal Chancellery in Berlin.
The two leaders thereafter met in one-on-one format followed by delegation-level talks.
The meeting was held prior to the sixth round of Biennial Inter Governmental Consultations (IGC) between India and Germany.
In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs said that the discussions between the two leaders "covered key areas of bilateral cooperation under the overall strategic partnership, as well as regional and global developments."
India was among the more than 50 countries that abstained from a United Nations vote to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council in April.
Since January this year, India has abstained on eight occasions on procedural votes and draft resolutions in the UN Security Council, the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council that deplored Russian aggression against Ukraine.
Prime Minister Modi's visit comes amid the Ukraine crisis, which has united much of Europe against Russia.
"Expanding India-Germany cooperation. PM @narendramodi and Chancellor Scholz meet in Berlin.
@Bundeskanzle," the Prime Minister's Office tweeted.
This was Prime Minister Modi's first meeting with Scholz as German Chancellor, who assumed office in December, 2021.
Later, they held delegation-level talks which was also attended by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
"Discussions continue between PM @narendramodi and Chancellor Scholz in Berlin.
Both leaders are reviewing the full range of bilateral ties between India and Germany, including giving an impetus to trade as well as cultural linkages.
@Bundeskanzler," the PMO tweeted.
Discussions continue between PM @narendramodi and Chancellor Scholz in Berlin. Both leaders are reviewing the full range of bilateral ties between India and Germany, including giving an impetus to trade as well as cultural linkages. @Bundeskanzler pic.twitter.com/Wj3M8mVQjr— PMO India (@PMOIndia) May 2, 2022
"PM @narendramodi and @Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz begin bilateral discussions.
This is their first engagement since Chancellor Scholz assumed office in December 2021.
The momentum of high level exchanges with our Strategic Partner continues," Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a tweet.
Later, Modi and Scholz co-chaired the 6th India-Germany Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC).
"The Inter-Governmental Consultation between India and Germany illustrate the special nature of this friendship.
Prime Minister @narendramodi, Chancellor Scholz and top Ministers from India and Germany meet in Berlin.
@Bundeskanzler," the PMO tweeted along with a photograph of the participating ministers from both sides.
Bagchi said it is a unique biennial dialogue mechanism allowing the two governments to coordinate on a wide spectrum of bilateral matters.
"For growth and resilience. For mobility and prosperity. For a greener and sustainable future.
For an open and peaceful Indo-Pacific. The 6th edition of the India-Germany Inter-Governmental Consultations gets underway," he said in another tweet.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Jaishankar and NSA Doval were also present in the meeting.
The 6th IGC will further strengthen the India-Germany strategic partnership, the MEA had said.
This is Modi's fifth visit to Germany after becoming Prime Minister.
He had earlier visited the European country in April 2018, July 2017, May 2017 and April 2015.
In his departure statement, Modi had said that his visit to Berlin will be an opportunity to hold detailed bilateral discussions with Chancellor Scholz, whom he met at G20 last year in his previous capacity as Vice-Chancellor and Finance Minister.
"I look forward to exchanging views with Chancellor Scholz on strategic, regional and global developments that concern us both," Modi had said ahead of his visit.
In 2021, India and Germany commemorated 70 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations and have been strategic partners since 2000, Modi said.
Germany is India's largest trading partner in Europe with a bilateral trade of over USD 21 billion.
Modi is also scheduled to interact with the Indian diaspora in Germany.
Germany is home to a thriving Indian diaspora of over 200 thousand.
The visit will chart the future course for deepening Indo-German ties, the MEA said.