New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his German counterpart Boris Pistorius held a bilateral meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday. A host of bilateral defence cooperation issues, with a focus on industrial cooperation, are likely to be discussed during the meeting.
A report by news agency PTI quoted certain persons familiar with agenda of bilateral talks saying that defence-industrial cooperation will be a key area of discussions. They also said that India's plan of procuring six stealth conventional submarines at cost of around Rs 43,000 crore was likely to figure in the talks between the two defence ministers.
"Had fruitful discussions with the German Defence Minister, Mr Boris Pistorius. His passion for Yoga is commendable. We discussed regional issues and our shared priorities. We also agreed to further strengthen defence co-operation between India & Germany," Rajnath Singh tweeted.
Pistorius Accorded Guard of Honour
Pistorius is on a four-day visit to India; was accorded a Guard of Honour at Manekshaw Centre in presence of Rajnath Singh. He also laid a wreath at National War memorial in the national capital. The German defence minister might meet a few defence start-ups during an event organised by Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX), the Ministry of Defence had earlier said in a statement.
Indo-German Bilateral Ties
Bilateral ties between India and Germany are founded on common democratic principles and are marked by a high degree of trust and mutual respect, according to the Ministry of External Affairs. India was amongst the first countries to establish diplomatic ties with Germany after the Second World War.
On June 7, the German Federal Minister of Defence will visit Mumbai where he is likely to visit Western Naval Command Headquarters and Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited.
German Minister's comments on India's dependence on Russian weapons
Ahead of his visit to India, the German Defence Minister said India's continuing dependence on Russian weapons is not in Germany's interest, German news agency Deutsche Welle (DW) reported.
"It is not up to Germany to change that on our own," Pistorius said in an exclusive interview with DW's top political correspondent Nina Haase in Jakarta. Pistorius was in Jakarta ahead of his four-day visit to India.
"This is an issue we have to solve jointly with other partners. But of course, we can't have an interest in the long run that India is so dependent on Russia's delivery of weapons or other materials," he added.
Pistorius said that Germany is ready to support partners like India. He said, "I want to send a signal that we are willing to support our partners, our reliable partners like Indonesia, like India," DW reported.