Modi in Spain: PM set to meet Spanish PM, King today

Addressing the Indo German Business Summit in Berlin, Prime Minister said that Germany is India's one of the most important partner and expressed happiness to see that Indian companies are also able to make a mark in Germany.

Indian leaders have traditionally shied away from visiting countries that are scheduled to hold national elections soon, much less praise their leaders, for fear of appearing to favour one candidate over others. "Our economic partnership is still below its full potential", said the Prime Minister who is here on the first leg of his 4-nation tour.

"EU unity, proactiveness and strong relations with other countries is extremely important for global development".

The two leaders will look to stem a decline in trade between the once robust economic partners and resolve tensions over their shifting global alliances when they meet on Thursday ahead of a summit in Saint Petersburg.

On Monday, after her talks with Modi, Merkel praised India for implementing the climate pact very "intensively and in a very committed way".

Modi is Merkel's first guest from Asia this week-Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is expected to visit Berlin later this week.

"They [Modi and Merkel] also reaffirmed their strong commitment to the EU-India Broad Based Trade and Investment Agreement and their commitment to bring about a resumption of the negotiations at the earliest possible date". But had Modi stuck to the template Indian leaders, including him, had so far followed, the trip would have been slated for the yearend, after Germany's elections.

Earlier, Modi was received by German chanceller Angela Merkel at the Chancellery for the fourth Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC) during which the two leaders reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral issues and clinched 12 agreements.

"The world can't move forward without innovation and we believe innovation and democratic values are a guarantee for development". "I have learned from her each time we have met".

Modi will leave for Spain after his meeting with the President later on Tuesday. "And both the countries are of the same view on how we should get together to deal with such kind of situations", Modi said. He referred to India's traditional respect for nature.

India has been a key supporter of Kabul's government and has poured more than $2 billion into the country since the former Taliban regime - which was allied with Pakistan - was toppled in 2001.

"We asked Germany to nudge other developed countries to also provide concessional development finance to India and other developing countries".

The apparent success of a mid-May summit on the Obor hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping, which was attended by leaders or ministers from 58 countries including Germany and the United Kingdom, has deepened those concerns.

The details of this meeting have not been finalised but MEA said the aim was to work towards a speedy resolution of an agreement in light of the Indo-German bilateral trade treaty having expired in March this year.

Key differences remain as niggles that are challenging efforts to conclude the FTA soon, officials conceded. "Hola Espana! Prime Minister Modi arrives in Madrid, first visit by an Indian Prime Minister in almost three decades, is received by Spanish FM in a special gesture", said Gopal Baglay, spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs in a tweet.

  • Julie Sanders