Wednesday 04th May 2022 08:28 EDT

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi received a grand welcome by the diaspora in Germany, on his three-nation Europe trip.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi received a grand welcome from Indian community members in Berlin, Germany chanting “2024, Modi Once More” as he arrived to address a community event in the city. “I'm fortunate that I received an opportunity to meet the children of “Maa Bharti” in Germany. “It feels great to meet all of you. Many of you've come here, to Berlin, from different cities in Germany,” said the Prime Minister.

Reportedly, women dressed in traditional nine-yard Paithani sarees, from Maharashtra performed the traditional lezim dance at the iconic Brandenburg Gate to welcome PM Modi. A ‘dhol-tasha’ troupe from Ramanbaug, Pune played traditional drums, and a person dressed as Chhatrapati Shivaji joined the celebrations.

Ashutosh and Manya Mishra were among the diaspora children who were waiting for the prime minister at Hotel Adlon Kempinski along with the elders of the community. Listening to Ashutosh singing a patriotic song, the Prime Minister praised the boy’s talent with a “Shaabash” (bravo). Manya presented the Prime Minister with a portrait. The PM took a picture with Manya and also signed the portrait, engaging in fun banter with the child looking up to her icon.

During his address, PM Modi said that today's India wants the country's progress, and sang praises of Indians. “When I speak about millions of Indians, it includes not only the people who live there but also those who live here,” he said.

PM Modi arrived in Berlin in the morning on the first leg of his three-nation Europe trip that will also take him to Denmark and France. The visit comes amid the Ukraine crisis, which has united much of Europe against Russia.

The Indian business delegation was led by Sanjiv Bajaj, President-Designate, CII Chairman and Managing Director, Bajaj Finserv. Baba N Kalyani, C K Birla, Puneet Chhatwal, Salil Singhal, Sumant Sinha, Dinesh Khara, C P Gurnani and Deepak Bagla were part of the Indian delegation.

The German business delegation included representatives of Siemens, BASF, Bosch, Volkswagen, GFT Technologies Schaeffler and Deutsche Bank. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar too participated in the meeting.

“The people of India ended the politically unstable atmosphere of the last three decades by pressing a button. After 30 years a full majority government was elected in 2014 and the people of India made the government stronger in 2019,” PM Modi said.

“We are celebrating 75 years of independence this year. I am the first Prime Minister who was born in independent India. The peak on which India would be at the time it celebrates 100 years of independence, India is strongly taking step after step and walking swiftly toward that goal,” he added.

World feeling pain of Ukraine war: PM Modi

PM Modi explained India's stand on the Ukraine war and Russia to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. India’s qualified and nuanced position meant Modi did not join Scholz in condemning what the Germans described as “unlawful and unprovoked aggression against Ukraine by Russian forces’’ even as the two leaders in a joint statement expressed serious concern about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and “unequivocally condemned” civilian deaths. In the presence of Modi, Scholz appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin to “stop this war, stop senseless killings and withdraw forces.”

A total of nine agreements were signed by the two parties, including one at the level of the leaders for green and sustainable development. Modi called it an article of faith for India and Scholz committed 10 billion euros to support India’s green growth plans.

“We believe nobody is going to win this war. All will suffer losses,” said PM Modi, adding India favours peace as it is very worried about the humanitarian impact of the crisis. “Because of the turmoil, oil prices have skyrocketed. The world is facing a scarcity of food grains and fertilisers. Every family in the world is feeling the pain but the impact will be worse on poor and developing countries. We have sent humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and we are also helping friendly countries with grain export, oil supply and financial assistance,’’ said Modi, who is on a 3-day visit

to Europe, which remains in ferment because of Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

With its attack on Ukraine, Russia has called into question fundamental principles of international law, Scholz said in his press statement, and that “it is all the more important to emphasise the importance of a rule-based order in the world, especially with a view to other regions of the world such as the Indo-Pacific region”. He said Germany is just as united with India here as it is “in defending the rule of law and democracy worldwide”.

The joint statement said Modi and Scholz discussed the destabilising effect of the conflict in Ukraine and its broader regional and global implications.

Modi invited to G7 summit

Scholz has invited PM Modi as a special guest to the G7 leaders’ summit next month, as part of efforts to woo New Delhi away from its longstanding alliance with Russia. Germany, which holds the rotating G7 presidency, has also invited the leaders of Indonesia, South Africa and Senegal to the meeting, which will take place in the luxury resort of Schloss Elmau in the Bavarian Alps at the end of June.

Scholz’s spokesman, Steffen Hebestreit, announced the expanded guest list for the summit ahead of a joint German-Indian cabinet meeting in Berlin. The two governments signed a series of bilateral agreements focused on sustainable development that will provide India with €10bn in aid by 2030 to boost the use of clean energy. After their talks, Scholz described India as a “central partner for

Germany in Asia, in terms of the economy, defence and climate policy”.

Scholz said the current heatwave in India, which has pushed temperatures to more than 45C in places, “shows that climate change, and our efforts to stop it, is a huge global issue where we have to work closely together”.

Modi arrived in Copenhagen from Germany. Before leaving Berlin, the Prime Minister tweeted that his visit to Germany was “productive”. Thanking the German government for their hospitality, the PM stated, “The talks with (Olaf) Scholz were extensive and so were the Inter-Governmental Consultations. I got a great opportunity to interact with business and the Indian community leaders.”

Modi reaches Denmark

PM Modi on Tuesday met his Danish counterpart Mette Frederiksen and the two leaders held talks on subjects expected to range from issues of mutual interest to boosting the bilateral relationship. An auditorium full of delegates sang India’s national anthem to welcome Modi.

The Prime Minister’s visit aimed to “provide an opportunity to review the progress in our unique and 'Green Strategic Partnership' with Denmark, as well as other aspects of our bilateral relations. This partnership was translated into a result-oriented five-year action plan during Prime Minister Frederiksen's India visit in October 2021.”

Modi will also meet Queen Margrethe II. He will also attend the India-Denmark Business Roundtable and interact with the Indian community in Denmark. Over 200 Danish companies in India are actively engaged in taking forward “Make in India”, Jal Jeevan Mission, Digital India and other key national missions. More than 60 Indian companies in Denmark, mainly in the IT sector, are further cementing bilateral business-to-business ties. Denmark is home to an Indian community of 16,000 people.

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