Prime Minister Modi: 3-nation European trip will deepen cooperation with European allies

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s three-nation Europe tour, which begins on May 2, is scheduled to focus on the welfare of the Indian diaspora, the Ukraine situation, and renewable energy. Mr. Modi stated in a press statement issued prior to his departure that his tour will strengthen the spirit of collaboration between India and European countries.

“My trip to Europe comes at a time when the continent is confronted with numerous problems and options. Mr. Modi stated in his statement, “I wish to foster the spirit of cooperation with our European friends, who are crucial companions in India’s search for peace and prosperity.”

The visit marks the senior Indian leadership’s first big interaction with key European powers since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Mr. Modi is scheduled to arrive in Berlin on Monday morning for talks with Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz. During the Inter-Governmental Consultations, the two leaders will lead the Indian and German delegations (IGC). External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will accompany the Prime Minister and have meetings with their counterparts during the tour, according to the recently appointed Foreign Secretary, Vinay Mohan Kwatra.

“I see the IGC as an early engagement with Germany’s new administration, within six months of its establishment, that will help us identify our medium and long-term priorities,” Mr. Modi added. The visit follows a flurry of European visits, including one by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who emphasized the historic importance of forging a united front against aggressor Russia.

PM Modi: We will maintain our position of neutrality

Mr. Kwatra, on the other hand, indicated that India will maintain its cautious attitude toward Russia, saying, “We have been urging for the end of bloodshed.” In the face of rising pressure from Western partner countries, India has declined to take an unequivocal pro-Ukraine stance at the United Nations and has maintained its neutrality.

He also stated that the Prime Minister’s visit would include outreach to the Indian diaspora. “Over one million people of Indian heritage live in continental Europe, and Germany has a large percentage of this diaspora,” Mr. Modi said, adding that he will meet “brothers and sisters” there. During his foreign trips, Mr. Modi is noted for his interactions with the Indian diaspora. During the last two years, however, as the pandemic raged, these exchanges were curtailed.

Mr. Modi will fly from Berlin to Copenhagen, where he will join Prime Ministers of Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Sweden, and Norway for the second India-Nordic Summit. The summit is likely to focus on the post-pandemic economic path, climate change, digitization, and renewable energy, which has grown in importance in the context of Russia’s military campaign against Ukraine, as the West attempts to cut Russia off from the global energy market.

Mr. Modi will see French President Emmanuel Macron on his way back, who defeated far-right challenger Marine Le Pen in re-election. “President Macron and I will discuss our perspectives on a range of regional and global challenges, as well as the status of our bilateral relationship.” “I am certain that two countries with such comparable visions and principles for the world order must work closely together.” 

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