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Rajnath Singh, German counterpart Pistorius agree to strengthen New Delhi-Berlin defence cooperation

New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his German counterpart Boris Pistorius on Tuesday discussed regional issues and shared priorities. The two leaders agreed to further strengthen defence cooperation between the two countries.
Sharing details regarding his meeting with Boris Pistorius, Rajnath Singh in a tweet stated, "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 cooperation between India & Germany." Pistorius, who is on a four-day visit to India, was accorded a Guard of Honour at Manekshaw Centre in the presence of Rajnath Singh in Delhi. He also laid a wreath at National War Memorial in the national capital.
Pistorius, who arrived in the national capital yesterday is accompanied by a German delegation. Pistorius is likely to meet a few defence start-ups during an event organised by Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) in New Delhi, the Ministry of Defence earlier said in a statement.
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.
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.
Earlier in December, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock described India as a "natural partner" that she believes will move alongside Germany to sail through "this rough sea", as the world continues to face uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Ukraine conflict. She made these remarks during the India Trilateral Forum in New Delhi.
"In this vibrant region, as the world's largest democracy and a rising political and economic power in Asia, for us, India is the natural partner to sail this rough sea together. Because if you're going out on rough seas, you have to trust your partners," Baerbock said during an event organized by the US-based German Marshall Fund and New Delhi-based think tank Observer Research Foundation (ORF).
The bilateral ties between India and Germany have been founded on common democratic principles and marked by a high degree of trust and mutual respect, according to the Ministry of External Affairs. India was amongst the first nations to establish diplomatic relations with Germany after the Second World War. (ANI)

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