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Cooperation, terror to figure on Modi's Europe tour

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  29 May 2017 12:00 AM GMT

New Delhi, May 28: Bilateral cooperation on economic, defence, science and technology, and nuclear fronts, parleys on EU-India Free Trade Agreement, and fight against terror will top Prime Minister rendra Modi’s agenda during his four-tion tour of Europe from Monday.

Modi will visit Germany for the biannual Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC); Spain on what will be an Indian Prime Minister’s first visit in nearly 30 years; Russia for the annual bilateral summit; and France for his first meeting with newly elected President Emmanuel Macron.

Berlin will be Modi’s first port of call, where he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will head the fourth biennial Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC) on Tuesday. India and Germany have over 25 Working Groups, including in areas like climate change, energy, infrastructure, and tourism.

One of the most important areas in which these agreements are likely to be signed is business. “The Indo-German Chamber of Commerce is the biggest German bilateral chamber outside Germany. It has more than 7,000 German and Indian member companies,” Ney said, adding that over 1,800 German companies are doing business in India.

According to Ambassador Ney, both countries cooperate closely in terms of G20 coordition, UN Security Council reforms, freedom of vigation, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos), strategic importance of the Indian Ocean region, the fight against terrorism, and stability in Afghanistan.

“Germany supports India’s membership in different export control regimes, including the NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group),” he said. After a meeting with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Modi will leave for Spain on May 30. The last prime ministerial visit to the country was by Rajiv Gandhi in 1988.

Cooperation in counter-terror will be an important element of the agenda in Spain. From Spain, Modi will travel to Russia on May 31 and hold the 18th annual bilateral summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 1 in St. Petersburg. The following day, the Prime Minister will for the first time attend the St. Petersburg Intertiol Economic Forum (SPIEF), a business event.

Science and technology cooperation and people-to-people contacts are also areas that will come up for discussion during the Modi-Putin meeting. (IANS)

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