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India, Germany to push for UN reforms

India and Germany will step up joint efforts to reform the United Nations and support each other's bid for a permanent seat in the Security Council. Both sides also discussed the possibilities of a civil nuclear cooperation. Varghese K George reports.

world Updated: Dec 13, 2010 01:35 IST
Varghese K George

India and Germany will step up joint efforts to reform the United Nations and support each other's bid for a permanent seat in the Security Council. Both sides also discussed the possibilities of a civil nuclear cooperation.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and German chancellor Angela Merkel told a joint press conference after a summit meeting that both countries would use its two-year temporary tenure in the UNSC to push for reforms. Both countries have been elected as non-permanent members for a term of two years starting January 2011.

"Both the permanent and non-permanent seats in UNSC must expand to reflect the new realities of the world," Singh said.

"On the bilateral side, we deeply value Germany's consistent support, including in the Nuclear Suppliers Group, for the opening of international commerce for India in the field of civil nuclear energy. We have discussed the possibilities of entering into bilateral cooperation in civil nuclear energy," chancellor Angela Merkel said.

The chancellor called upon Pakistan to stop using terror as an instrument for pursuing political goals.

"It is not acceptable and Germany will do everything possible to convince Pakistan," she said. India and Germany will enhance cooperation in fighting terror.

European Union countries, many of which are part of the NATO - which is allied to Pakistan - are louder in their demand to Pakistan to stop terrorism. The joint declaration of India-EU summit at Brussels on Friday had called upon all countries to act against "havens of terror" and acknowledged the "cross-border dimensions" of terrorism.

Areas of cooperation
India and Germany will scale up their cooperation in areas such as high technology, nuclear power, skill development and infrastructure, both the leaders announced.

Germany manufactures high precision technologies in various sectors, turbines for instance.

"If Germany further liberalises its technology trade policy, its companies will tremendously benefit from the vast market in India," Singh said.

Merkel accepted an invitation from Singh to visit India sometime in 2011. After his tour of Belgium and Germany, Singh reached New Delhi on Sunday.

Cancun negotiations
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said India's approach towards climate negotiations would be "pragmatic and balanced within the UNFCC."

And, the Germam chancellor commended Indian environment minister Jayaram Ramesh's initiatives at Cancun.

Ramesh had triggered a controversy by saying that all countries must agree to a legally binding emission reduction regime - which was hailed by many countries as a deal-making initiative. As the Opposition attacked Ramesh for overturning India's stated policy against binding carbon cuts, Prime Minister Singh had asked to "not read too much into it (the statement)."

However, Singh's emphasis on also being "pragmatic" indicated his oblique support for Ramesh who is systematically altering the previously rigid positions of India.