- PM Modi arrived in Berlin on the first leg of his three-nation Europe trip
- On May 4, PM Modi during a brief stopover in Paris will hold talks with French President
- The visit comes amid the Ukraine crisis
Modi Europe Visit: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Berlin on Monday on the first leg of his three-nation Europe trip during which he will hold detailed bilateral discussions with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and co-chair the India-Germany inter-governmental consultations.
“Landed in Berlin. Today, I will be holding talks with Chancellor @OlafScholz, interacting with business leaders and addressing a community programme. I am confident this visit will boost the friendship between India and Germany,” Modi tweeted soon after his arrival here.
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. In 2021, India and Germany commemorated 70 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations and have been strategic partners since 2000. The two leaders will also address a high-level roundtable where they will interact with top CEOs of both countries.
Modi and Olaf will co-chair the 6th India-Germany Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC). Modi is also scheduled to interact with the Indian diaspora in Germany. Berlin currently holds the G-7 Presidency. New Delhi has been taking a different view from Europe's on the Russia-Ukraine war by not condemning Moscow directly.
There were reports Germany may not invite India for the G7 summit. The summit is due to take place from June 26-28 at Schloss Elmau in the Bavarian Alps. India has been consecutively invited to the G7 summit since 2019. France in 2019 had invited India for the G7 ‘Biarritz Summit’ as “a goodwill partner”. In 2020, President Donald Trump had invited PM Modi to the G7 outreach summit at Camp David. Last year the UK had invited India for the G7 summit, PM Modi participated in the summit virtually. It will be significant to see if India gets invited to the G-7 outreach summit in June this time.
From Berlin, PM Modi will travel to Copenhagen on May 3 where he will have a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Frederiksen during which the two leaders would review the progress in India's unique ‘Green Strategic Partnership’ with Denmark, as well as other aspects of bilateral relations. He will also participate in the India-Denmark Business Roundtable as well as interact with the Indian community in Denmark. Apart from the bilateral engagements with Denmark, Modi will also take part in the 2nd India-Nordic Summit along with Prime Ministers of Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Sweden and Norway where they will take stock of cooperation since the First India-Nordic Summit in 2018. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Denmark will provide an opportunity to shape up new components of partnership in the field of skill development, shipping, agricultural technology and mobility, an official said on Sunday. Leaders of all five Nordic countries will focus on clean technology, climate change, renewables among other issues. India presents an ideal opportunity to these countries because of its large market.
On May 4, PM Modi during a brief stopover in Paris will hold talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, who was re-elected as French president. India and France have traditionally had close relations. The two countires share strategic Partnership, with defence & security cooperation, space cooperation and civil nuclear cooperation being its pillars. In fact, PM Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron are some of the few world leaders who have maintained open communication channels with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The two world leaders are also expected to talk on China’s assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific and security cooperation including Rafale aircraft.
In his first visit abroad this year, Prime Minister Modi will have 25 hectic engagements in his three-day trip to as many countries where he will be spending around 65 hours. The visit comes amid the Ukraine crisis, which has united much of Europe against Russia. The crucial Europe visit is likely to be a boost in Free Trade Agreement negotiations between India and Europe, which have been ongoing for a decade and a half now.