Explained: Why PM Modi is visiting Europe amid Russia-Ukraine war
I intend to strengthen the spirit of cooperation with our European partners, who are important companions in India's quest for peace and prosperity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be embarking on a three-nation European visit from May 2 where he will review the gamut of relations with Germany, Denmark and France.
The Prime Minister's first stopover will be in Berlin at the invitation of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. The next city where the Prime Minister will have a series of engagements will be Copenhagen from May 3-4 at the invitation of Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen. On the way back to India, the Prime Minister will make a brief stopover in Paris for a meeting with President Emmanuel Macron.
According to Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra, the principal purpose of the Prime Minister's visit is for India to continue to strengthen its multi-faceted relationship with the three countries.
India's position on Ukraine has been amplified at various fora -- on cessation of hostilities, and that the path to resolution of the conflict is through diplomacy and dialogue. PM Modi will exchange India's perspectives on Ukraine during his visit.
In his pre-departure statement, the Prime Minister said that his visit to Europe comes at a time when the region faces many challenges and choices.
"Through my engagements, I intend to strengthen the spirit of cooperation with our European partners, who are important companions in India's quest for peace and prosperity," he said.
In his pre-departure statement, the Prime Minister noted that his Berlin visit will be an opportunity to hold detailed bilateral discussions with Chancellor Scholz.
To recall, the Prime Minister had met Scholz at the G20 summit in 2021 when the latter was Germany's Vice-Chancellor and Finance Minister.
The two leaders will co-chair the biennial India-Germany Inter-Governmental Consultations. Several Indian ministers, including Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Minister of States for Science and Environment Dr Jitendra Singh, will also be accompanying the Prime Minister and holding consultations with their German counterparts.
While in Berlin, the Prime Minister will jointly address a business roundtable along with Chancellor Scholz in an attempt to energise industry to industry cooperation to facilitate post-Covid economic recovery in both countries.
The Prime Minister will also be meeting people of Indian Diaspora members in Berlin. Germany has a significant proportion of the Indian diaspora out of the million-odd known to be living in continental Europe.
In Copenhagen, the Prime Minister will have a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Frederiksen. Among the aspects that will be discussed between the two leaders will include a review of the progress made in the 'Green Strategic Partnership'.
Stating that the Nordic countries were important partners for India in digitisation, sustainability, renewable energy and innovation, Prime Minister Modi has said that his visit will help expand India's multifaceted cooperation with the Nordic region.
In line with this, the Prime Minister will attend the 2nd India-Nordic Summit along with Prime Ministers of Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Sweden and Norway where we will take stock of India's cooperation since the First India-Nordic Summit in 2018.
Besides discussing the evolving global security scenario, the summit will also focus on subjects like post-pandemic economic recovery, climate change, renewable energy and India-Nordic cooperation in the Arctic region. Prime Minister Modi will also participate in the India-Denmark Business Roundtable as well as interact with the Indian community in Denmark.
On his way back home, the Prime Minister will stopover in Paris to meet his "friend" President Macron who has very recently been re-elected to the post.
Stating this his visit will not only allow him to convey his personal congratulations in person, but Prime Minister Modi also said the Paris touchdown will reaffirm the close friendship between the two countries and set the tone for the next phase of the India-France Strategic Partnership.
During his bilateral talks with President Macron, the two leaders will discuss various regional and global issues and review the ongoing bilateral cooperation.