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HomeNationalGermany's Scholz in India to pressure EU trade deal - World MIGMG...

Germany’s Scholz in India to pressure EU trade deal – World MIGMG News

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NEW DELHI: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz arrived in India on Saturday seeking to deepen business ties between the world’s number four and five economies and push for progress on a trade deal with the EU despite differences over Ukraine.

“We want to further strengthen our bilateral relationship with India and our cooperation on global issues such as mitigating climate change and transforming our economies in a fair, green and sustainable way,” Scholz said. The Times of India in an interview.

“There is huge potential for intensified cooperation, in sectors such as renewable energy, hydrogen, mobility, pharmaceuticals, the digital economy and more,” Scholz told the paper.

Scholz, accompanied by executives from major German firms like Siemens, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi and was scheduled to leave for Bengaluru to visit German software firms, including SAP.

Officials said Scholz would press for progress on a trade deal between the European Union and India, which has long been held up by disagreements over tariffs and access for Indian workers to Europe.

A German official in Berlin said the two sides remained “at a distance from each other”.

“Some people want to finish this by the end of this year. Others say that even the summer of next year is ambitious,” said the official, who wished to remain anonymous.

The two sides also differ over the war in Ukraine, with India refusing to condemn Russia’s invasion and increasing oil purchases from its biggest arms supplier.

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“If we are to work together effectively on global challenges, we need a robust, trustworthy and rules-based international order.” Attacking your neighbor, taking territory by force, committing terrible war crimes cannot be tolerated,” Scholz said in an interview.

“With India we share the foundations of democracy and respect for international law. Together, we stand for state sovereignty and the peaceful resolution of conflicts around the world,” he said.

Scholz, 64, also said the Group of 20 should not ease pressure on Russia during India’s current presidency and continue to send a “strong message”.

Germany, France and Britain insisted on Friday that any final statement from the G20 finance ministers’ meeting in Bengaluru due to end on Saturday must also condemn Russia’s war.

A second German official said that behind the scenes, India is using “clear words” in talks with Russia to show that New Delhi is not happy with the conflict.

“Last fall in a meeting with (Russian) President (Vladimir) Putin, Prime Minister Modi put it very clearly: ‘(This is not) a time for war,'” the official said.

It was not clear whether Scholz would raise concerns about minority and media rights in the world’s largest democracy during his talks with the Hindu nationalist prime minister.

Last week Indian tax officials raided the local offices of The BBC in rights action groups linked to a British broadcaster documentary on Modi’s role in the deadly 2002 sectarian riots.

The Indian government has denied the two were related.


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