External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will undertake an official visit to Germany from January 28 to 29 and to Belgium from January 30 to 31.
India and Germany are strategic partners since the year 2000 and share long-standing friendly relations based on common values of democracy, respect for fundamental rights and mutual trust. Both countries are celebrating 60 years of diplomatic relations.
During his visit to Germany, Khurshid will hold bilateral discussions with German Foreign Minister, Dr. Guido Westerwelle and would call on German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Discussions will focus on bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest. The summit level Indo-German consultations are to be held later this year with the Prime Minister scheduled to visit Germany.
During his visit to Belgium, Khurshid will have bilateral discussions with Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Didier Reynders and with European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Vice President of the European Commission, Baroness Catherine Ashton.
India and the European Union are bound by strong and friendly ties. India was amongst the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with the European Economic Community. Today, EU is one of our largest trading partners, and an important source of technology and home to a large and influential Diaspora.
Both sides endeavour to develop common approaches to address new and emerging challenges. The India-EU Summit meeting will be held in Brussels in the summer and the External Affairs Minister's discussions with the EU leadership is a precursor to the visit of the Prime Minister.
Diplomatic relations between India and Belgium were established in 1948, and they continue to be warm and friendly. Bilateral relations are strengthened by regular interactions at high levels. India will be the partner country in the Europalia 2013, the internationally acclaimed cultural festival hosted in Belgium from October 2013 to January 2014. (ANI)