German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier arrived in India on Thursday to embark on a five-day state visit from March 22 to 25. This will be his first visit to India as the President of Germany after the Angela Merkel government took charge in Berlin on March 14.
In a statement issued by the German Embassy said: “The German Head of State will talk with Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi and other high-ranking politicians, such as Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj.” Steinmeier will also hold talks with representatives of Indian civil society, science and industry, the statement said.
Steinmeier will be welcomed by President Ram Nath Kovind and his wife in New Delhi.
According to reports, Steinmeier will be accompanied by a CEO delegation, Indologists and a media delegation. He will also be visiting Varanasi and Chennai apart from Delhi.
“India’s relationship with Germany is amongst our foremost relations, bilaterally and in the global context. After having established Strategic Partnership since 2000, successive governments on the two sides have endeavoured to broaden and deepen this relationship. This has found expression in having biennial Summit Level Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC), which Germany has with select countries only,” a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs said.
According to the statement issued by MEA, India’s current priorities in most areas match with German expertise, such as renewable energy, skills development, Smart City, water and waste management, cleaning of rivers, railways, etc. These could be synergised for tangible, result-oriented outcomes, it said.
Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron visited India and signed several trade and security deals with New Delhi.
"The reality is that India has to rely more on Germany if it wants to continue with its economic progress. The smaller European countries do not matter much," Parthasarathy told DW.
Rajendra Jain, a professor at the Centre for European Studies in New Delhi, said Germany is pivotal to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's foreign policy because of its economic and political clout in the world.
"India needs Germany to invest in its infrastructure, renewable energy projects, skills development and water management," Jain told DW.
# 01:30 PM: President of Germany arrived in India earlier in the day