Trade, anti-terror, UNSC on agenda for Singh-Merkel meet

Singh`s talks with Merkel later in the day are expected to further enhance bilateral strategic partnership at a time when the ties between the two countries are marked by rapidly growing economic and trade ties.

Berlin: Trade, UNSC reforms and
anti-terrorism strategies will be high on the agenda when
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and German Chancellor Angela
Merkel hold their summit meeting against the backdrop of the
two countries getting elected as non-permanent members in the
United Nations Security Council.

Singh flew in here from Brussels today after attending
the India-European Union summit for a working visit to Germany
at the invitation of Merkel.

Singh`s talks with Merkel later in the day are
expected to further enhance bilateral strategic partnership at
a time when the ties between the two countries are marked by
rapidly growing economic and trade ties.

Germany is India`s largest trading partner in the
27-nation European Union with bilateral trade growing in the
recent years to reach 13.4 billion Euros in 2008.

Bilateral trade decreased marginally to 13.09 billion
Euro but has revived and is growing by over 15 per cent and
has reached 9.80 billion Euro during January-August 2010.

Ahead of the talks, Prime Minister Singh said India`s
engagement with Germany is strong and multi-faceted.

Singh said he was looking forward to reviewing with
Chancellor Merkel the developments in bilateral cooperation in
the areas of high technology, trade, investment, energy and
education.

India and Germany will serve together on the UN
Security Council as non-permanent members for a two-year
period from January one, 2011.

Singh and Merkel will also review the major regional
and global issues including the situation in Afghanistan and
climate change as well as the state of the global economy and
the role of the G-20 in the recovery process.

Germany is also expected to take the line adopted by
the EU at its summit with India yesterday in Brussels on the
need for Pakistan to act expeditiously to bring to justice the
perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attack.

The EU while denouncing terrorism wanted terror camps
to be closed wherever they exist.

Earlier, Germany had said Pakistan is "not doing
enough" to combat terrorism, noting that the situation in that
country is an issue of "central concern" to it.

German Ambassador to India Thomas Matussek had said
the internal situation in Pakistan is "unstable."

Matussek had said it would in the interest of the
international community if the Pakistan security apparatus
"chase out" al-Qaeda and other terror elements from the
country.

"If Pakistan goes down...it will affect countries like
India," he had said, adding efforts should be made to
strengthen the democratic legitimacy of civilian rule.

PTI

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