German Chancellor Angela Merkel received a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Monday, ahead of her meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Merkel, who arrived in Delhi on Sunday night, is on a two-day visit during which she is expected to discuss cooperation in technology, skill development, river cleaning, clean energy, waste management and railways, and the expansion of the United Nations security council for which both nations have staked their claims.
In a tweet, PM Modi said he was looking forward to having “fruitful discussions” with Merkel, as he seeks to remove “avoidable irritants” for early conclusion of a free trade pact.
“Namaste Chancellor Merkel! Warm welcome to you & the delegation. I look forward to fruitful discussions & strengthening India-Germany ties,” he said in a tweet.
The German Chancellor will also call on President Pranab Mukherjee.
External affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted: “Íts a Guten Morgen in Delhi as Chancellor Angela Merkel receives a ceremonial welcome at the @RashtrapatiBhvn.”
Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj met with Merkel and her German counterpart Frank Walter Steinmeier on Monday morning.
India and Germany will sign more than 12 MoUs on Monday, ANI tweeted, quoting sources as saying.
“Prime Minister Modi has outlined an ambitious programme for the development of this nation and Germany fully intends to be a partner and support it,” a statement from Merkel’s delegation said during her ceremonial welcome.
Merkel on her India visit is accompanied by ministers of economic affairs and energy, defence, foreign affairs, food and agriculture, education and economic cooperation and development for inter-governmental consultations with the Indian side.
Merkel, along with PM Modi, will visit Bengaluru on Tuesday and participate in a business event.
India and Germany are strategic partners since 2001. Germany is India’s largest trading partner in the European Union and the seventh largest foreign investor in India.