Pistorius on Tuesday said a long-standing strategic partnership connects Germany and India…reports Asian Lite News
Concerned about China’s geostrategic striving for supremacy, which is challenging the other neighbouring countries, India and Germany on Tuesday vowed to further solidify their strategic partnership that could include a possible deal to jointly manufacture six conventional submarines for the Indian Navy.
As he met Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi, German Federal Minister of Defence Boris Pistorius called India a “strategically reliable partner” which should be treated at par with Australia and Japan when it comes to arms exports.
Besides announcing a joint exercise with the German Navy in the coming year, Pistorius also hinted at Thyssen-Krupp Maritime Systems (TKMS) based on Germany’s Baltic Sea coast being in the running to supply six submarines for the Indian Navy in a deal worth six billion Euros.
“We talked about a concrete cooperation in military procurement. That could be six submarines from TKMS. That could be a flagship project,” the German media quoted the country’s defence minister as saying after the meeting with his Indian counterpart.
Interestingly, Pistorius is travelling to Mumbai next, where he is scheduled to visit the Headquarters of the Western Naval Command and Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited.
Singh, on the other hand, stressed that India and Germany could build a more symbiotic relationship based on shared goals and complementarity of strength, namely skilled workforce and competitive costs from India and high technologies and investment from Germany.
He mentioned the opportunities that have opened up in the defence production sector, including the possibilities for German investments in the two Defence Industrial Corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
“The Indian defence industry could participate in the supply chains of German defence industry and add value to the ecosystem, besides contributing to supply chain resilience,” said the Ministry of Defence in a statement.
Under its resolve to become a completely self-reliant, combat-ready, credible, cohesive and future-proof force until 2047, Indian Navy is going ahead full steam with its mission to have ‘Made in India’ ships, submarines, aircraft, unmanned vessels and systems.
Senior officials from the Ministry of Defence, including Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane and Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Anil Chauhan also attended the delegation-level talks which reviewed the ongoing bilateral defence cooperation activities and explored ways to enhance the collaboration, particularly defence industrial partnership.
Pistorius is the first German Defence Minister to visit India since 2015 and the first in many years to take part in the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore last week, the Indo-Pacific counterpart to the Munich Security Conference.
The Pistorius-Singh meeting took place less than 24 hours after India and the United States finalised a new roadmap for defence industrial cooperation during the US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin’s visit to the Indian capital, showcasing India’s immense geopolitical clout.
Berlin is concerned with the increasing Chinese belligerence in the Indo-Pacific and has a strategic interest in free sea routes as more than 20 per cent of German trade is with countries in the region.
Pistorius on Tuesday said a long-standing strategic partnership connects Germany and India.
The German Defence Minister during a media briefing on Tuesday said that next year, India and Germany will conduct a multi-day military exercise with the deployment of our naval units for the Pacific Program 2024, including a port visit. “There will be an exercise in Goa. This is important for several reasons,” he said.
The German Defence Minister while talking about his meeting with his counterpart Rajnath Singh, said, “We talked about the fact that our connection, our strategic partnership, should and must gain more momentum–not only against the background of current developments in the region, but also worldwide.”
“We have established that defence is a pillar of this partnership between the two countries in a special way, precisely because of our joint strategic partnership experience. We both emphasized very, very clearly why the future will be and that is part of it,” he said.
Pistorius said: “It is the first visit by a defence minister from the Federal Republic of Germany since 2015, i.e. in eight years. And I think it was about time. A long-standing strategic partnership connects Germany and India. The corresponding agreements were made in 2000 and 2011.”
The German Defence Minister said: “We also talked about the war between Russia and Ukraine. The war has repercussions up to here in every corner of the world. That’s no surprise. And India is trying very hard to significantly and quickly reduce its dependency on Russia for armaments, which is currently at 60 per cent. Germany is the largest trading partner for India in the EU, with a volume of 30 billion euros. That is significantly more than between India and France, for example.”
Pistorius, who is on a four-day visit to India, was accorded a Guard of Honour at Manekshaw Centre in the presence of Rajnath Singh in Delhi. He also laid a wreath at National War Memorial in the national capital. (ANI)
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