New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a press release today that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will pay a state visit to India on 25 and 26 February. Chancellor Scholz will be accompanied by senior officials and a high-powered business delegation. He will arrive in New Delhi on February 25 and leave for Bengaluru on February 26, said a press release from the Ministry of External Affairs.
This is the first solo visit by a German Chancellor to India since the inception of the biennial Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC) mechanism in 2011, a whole-of-government framework under which ministers of the two countries hold discussions in their respective areas of responsibility and report on the outcome of the discussions to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chancellor Scholz, read the release.
Scholz will be accorded a ceremonial welcome in the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan. The Prime Minister and the Chancellor will discuss bilateral, regional, and global issues. The two leaders will also hold talks with CEOs and business leaders from both sides. Scholz will also call on President Draupadi Murmu. The India-Germany Strategic Partnership is underpinned by shared values, trust, and mutual understanding. Robust investment and trade linkages, cooperation in green and sustainable development, and growing people-to-people ties have strengthened bilateral relations, it said.
India and Germany also work closely at multilateral and international platforms, notably as part of the G4 for UNSC reforms. Chancellor Scholz’s visit will enable both sides to take stock and progress on the key outcomes of the 6th IGC, strengthen security and defense cooperation, work towards closer economic ties, enhance the opportunity for the mobility of talent, and give strategic guidance to ongoing collaboration in Science & Technology, added the release.
Recently, Scholz quoted External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s viral “European mindset” remark during the Munich Security Conference. Jaishankar, during the 17th edition of the GLOBSEC Bratislava Forum in Slovakia last year, savagely replied to a question on India’s stand in the Russia-Ukraine war, and said, “Europe has to grow out of the mindset that Europe’s problems are the world’s problems, but the world’s problems are not Europe’s problems.”
The Chancellor of Germany used this reference during the Munich Security Conference on Friday and suggested a change in the so-called mindset and said that Jaishankar had a point.
“This quote from the Indian Foreign Minister is included in this year’s Munich Security Report and he has a point it wouldn’t be Europe’sproblem alone if the law of the strong were to assert itself in international relations,” Scholz said.
He also said that to be a credible European or North American in Jakarta, New Delhi, it is not enough to emphasize shared values.
“We have to generally address the interests and concerns of these countries as a basic prerequisite for joint action. And that’s why it was so important to me to not merely have representatives of Asia, Africa, and Latin America at the negotiating table during the G Seven Summit last June. I wanted to work with these regions to find solutions to the main challenges they face growing poverty and hunger, partly as a consequence of Russia’s war, as well as the impact of climate change or COVID-19,” he added.