On second leg of four-nation tour, Modi lands in Spain

The prime minister's remarks were delivered at a media event with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin after the two leaders had wide ranging discussions during their Inter-Governmental Consultations at the Chancellery.

Prime Minister Modi and Chancellor Merkel reaffirmed the importance of the Indo-German Environment Forum (IGEnvF) in contributing to further cooperation on environmental issues, including biodiversity and climate change. The two leaders discussed expanding their bilateral partnership in various fields, including the economy.

This is the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Spain since 1988.

They covered areas of digitalisation, skill development, sustainability, cyber policy, development cooperation, advanced training, vocational education, health sector, alternative medicine, foreign service institutes, railway safety and sustainable urban development. The two leaders underlined their common concern about the threat and global reach of terrorism and extremism while condemning terrorist violence in all its forms and manifestations, the joint statement said.

Germany welcomed India's inclusion in the Missile Technology Control Regime. They also called for finalisation and adoption of Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, the joint statement said. Both leaders shared deep concern over the global menace of terrorism, and chose to strengthen mutual counter-terrorism initiatives. He noted India's well-developed IT sector and said it was eager to move forward in cyber security development.

The two leaders also addressed the India-Germany Business Summit here.

Modi also called for European Union (EU) unity and said India would play a positive role in enhancing that through Germany."EU unity, proactiveness and strong relations with other countries is extremely important for global development".

Stressing that India refers to the deal as a Broad-based trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA), he said both countries were committed to creating a healthy ecosystem for investments from Germany.

Concluding his speech the Prime Minister said, "India is a big country and nothing is enough when it comes to development".

"Science and technology, the startup world are important areas which have been given attention to during this visit", he added. Peace in Afghanistan and the importance of the "Afghan-led and owned reconciliation and development process" was touched upon, with the Prime Minister expressing appreciation over the German presence in Afghanistan and calling for a consolidation of efforts in the country, Tomar said.

That process has accelerated in recent years as New Delhi has orbited closer to Washington, and Russian Federation has fostered relationships with India's chief regional rivals Pakistan and China, analysts say. "We discussed new and upcoming opportunities and challenges in Asia, Europe and the world". He said the current generation has no right to destroy the environment and that tampering with the environment is morally a criminal act.

He said climate change and living in harmony with nature were part of India's ethos.

  • Leroy Wright