New Govt will continue strong ties with India: German Envoy

New Delhi, Sep 28:

India is increasingly becoming an important country for Germany in the Indo-Pacific region and the next coalition government in Berlin is expected to continue its strong ties with New Delhi, German Ambassador Walter J. Lindner said on Monday.

He said relations between India and Germany saw a significant upswing, including in areas of trade and investment, in the last over one decade and that the upward trajectory in ties will continue under the new government.

Lindner’s comments came as a new coalition government is expected to take the reins in Berlin following the parliamentary elections that marked the end of Angela Merkel’s 16-year tenure as the German Chancellor, a period that saw significant expansion of India-Germany ties.

“The Indo-Pacific is becoming more and more important for us and India has emerged as a major player in the region. We have strong relations with India and it is expected to continue,” the German Envoy told reporters.

“None of the global issues can be solved without India, be it climate change, global warming, trade issues, COVID-19 vaccination and terrorism… India is important for us,” he said.

Lindner said there are not many differences among the leading German parties over foreign policy issues and all of them understand the importance of India, and there will be continuity towards the relationship, though there “could be differences in details”.

The ambassador said that the next Government in Germany should be in place by Christmas and that coalition partners will try to thrash out a “coalition treaty” for listing various priorities.

On Afghanistan, he said anything that fosters terrorism should be handled by the Afghan government, be it help from outside or within the country. He also said that the world community must address the need for humanitarian assistance in the country. Asked about India and South Africa pressing for TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) waiver on COVID-19-related technologies, Lindner said intellectual property rights need to be protected as not doing so will discourage scientists and companies.

India and South Africa moved the WTO for patent waiver on COVID-19 vaccines and related technologies to ensure their greater availability. The European Union has not supported the proposal.

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