"Strong partner" like India needed
to face global challenges: Germany
By Arun Kumar
Delhi, Nov 20 (IANS) Germany Thursday said that challenges
of this century will not be solved without the presence of
India on the international high table.
was stated by the German foreign minister and vice-chancellor
Frank-Walter Steinmeier on the first day of official engagements
during his three-day visit here.
called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the evening. This
was followed by a meeting with his Indian counterpart, external
affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee, who also hosted a dinner
in his honour at Hyderabad House.
a statement released earlier in the day to the German media,
Steinmeier said it was time to expand the group of eight industrialised
that the challenges of the 21st century cannot be faced "without
a strong partner like India", he described India's participation
at the Global financial summit in Washington as an example
in the shift in balance of the international economy.
to the global financial meltdown, Germany, Europe's largest
economy, officially slipped into a recession last week after
two consecutive quarters of contraction.
has also downwardly revised its annual economic growth rate
to 7-7.5 percent for the current fiscal from an earlier projection
of 9 percent, with key sectors such as banking, aviation,
automobiles and textiles doing badly in recent quarters.
German minister is accompanied by a delegation of about 20
high-profile businessmen, who will be eyeing the Indian market
as a way to stoke growth in their companies. Bilateral trade
volumes between the two countries doubled to $12 billion over
the past three years.
also discussed other international issues like Iran and Afghanistan
with the Indian leadership.
felt that international pressure on Iran should be kept up,
till the Iranian regime moved on the subject.
the light of the latest crisis of pirates hijacking merchant
ships in the Gulf of Aden, the minister indicated to the accompanying
media Thursday that Germany was ready to take a more pro-active
step in the matter.
has already sent a warship, INS Tabar, to the region, which
Tuesday night had sunk a pirate "mother vessel"
off the Omani coast.
has to decide if it would join the European Union's mission
against Somali pirates that will begin Dec 8.
had also met with the leader of the opposition L.K. Advani
in the morning and attended an afternoon reception in the
is scheduled to arrive in Bangalore Friday morning, where
he will inaugurate a consulate and then board an airplane
for Berlin in the evening.