Manmohan Singh accorded ceremonial reception in Berlin

Last Updated: Thu, Apr 11, 2013 10:40 hrs

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, who is on a three-day state visit to Germany, was given a ceremonial reception at the federal chancellery here on Thursday.

He also inspected a guard of honour along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Meanwhile, the second Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC) between India and Germany is beginning shortly in Berlin.

The Indian side at the meeting is being led by Dr. Singh and the German side by Chancellor Merkel.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid had earlier said that United Nations Security Council reforms could be high on the agenda for discussions during the bilateral summit. He said both countries will make efforts to achieve the goal within the Group of Four framework.

India and Germany are also likely to discuss the status of the European Union Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and hold talks on Afghanistan.

During the visit, India will seek technology and expertise from Germany in the field of renewable energy. Berlin is also likely to extend a line of credit worth over a billion Euro in this regard.

Germany is keen about making investments and providing expertise on the Delhi-Mumbai Freight Corridor.

The first round of Indo-German Inter-Governmental Consultations took place in New Delhi on May 31, 2011.

In Asia, the Inter-Governmental Consultation format is used with only two other countries-Israel and China. Germany also has such meetings with its European partners.

Prior to his departure, Dr. Singh had said in New Delhi that Germany is a key partner for India in areas like infrastructure, manufacturing, science and technology, higher education, vocational training and clean and renewable energy.

"We expect to sign a number of agreements and Memorandums of Understanding in these areas," he said, adding, "I intend to seek greater trade and investment ties with Germany".

Dr. Singh is making his second visit to Germany in three years at the invitation of Chancellor Merkel. He visited Germany last in December 2010. (ANI)

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