Terrorism can`t be fought selectively: PM

Manmohan Singh told a news conference also addressed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Delhi that terrorism posed `a serious challenge` to the world.

New Delhi: Terrorism has to be fought on all fronts and not selectively, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Tuesday.

The prime minister told a news conference also addressed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel here that terrorism posed "a serious challenge" to the world.

But it "has to be fought on all fronts and not selectively", he said, in a message clearly directed at the US.

Manmohan Singh said that he and the German chancellor discussed the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, including the Libyan unrest and their impact on global peace and security.

Afghanistan and Pakistan also figured in the discussions during the chancellor`s day-long visit, her second to New Delhi since 2007, he said.

"We have had very useful and wide-ranging discussions," he said.

Manmohan Singh sought greater German investment in India, particularly in the areas of infrastructure, high technology, energy and basic applied sciences.

India, he said, "offers a stable and friendly investment climate".

Germany is New Delhi`s largest trading partner in Europe and is among the largest foreign investors in India.

India and Germany signed four pacts to expand their cooperation in the fields of education and research, as also high-tech areas like nuclear physics as the two countries resolved to push for reforms of the United Nations Security Council.

The pacts were signed after wide-ranging talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and German Chancellor Angela Merkel that included discussions on the intensification of trade and investment, nuclear energy cooperation and the UN reforms.

"Germany and India are members of G4. We have been arguing for a long time that the global system needs to be brought up to date in tune with contemporary realities," Manmohan Singh said.

"The new realities of the global scene have to be taken into account in looking at reform of the global structures of governance," he said.

Merkel could not agree more, saying Germany and India will work together for getting a permanent seat in the UN Security Council. She also stressed on "speeding up the process of the UN reforms". Both Germany and India currently hold rotating non-permanent seats in the UN Security Council.

India is keen to strengthen its strategic partnership with Germany, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said.

"We look forward to further strengthening our strategic partnership," Manmohan Singh said.

With emerging powers questioning the practice of the top IMF job going to a European, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh questioned the Western monopoly of international institutions and asserted that the best available person, regardless of nationality, should get the coveted position.

"India`s view is well known...the best available person regardless of nationality should be selected for the prestigious post of IMF chief," Manmohan Singh said.

Manmohan Singh admitted that the issue of the IMF chief`s selection did not figure in the discussions with Merkel, but the message was clear to European powers who are not ready to cede control of top financial institutions.

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde has already announced her candidacy for the job of the managing director of the International Monetary Fund. Germany is said to be keen on a European getting the coveted job.


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