India and Germany today agreed to enhance ties in key areas of defence manufacturing, trade, intelligence and clean energy during wide-ranging talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel here after which 18 MoUs were inked.
Describing the talks as "very good", both the leaders expressed hope that their discussions will pave the way for more robust partnership between the two countries in strategic areas.
"We see Germany as a natural partner in achieving our vision of India's economic transformation. German strengths and India's priorities are aligned.
"Our focus tends to be on economic ties. But, I believe that in a world of seamless challenges and opportunities, India and Germany can also be strong partners in advancing a more human, peaceful, just and sustainable future for the world," Modi said.
The Prime Minister also mentioned that he will continue his discussions with Merkel in Bangalore, where both the leaders will be attending a business forum.
Modi noted that the partnership will also grow in "areas like defence manufacturing, trade in advanced technology, intelligence, and countering terrorism and radicalism. These are important security dimensions of our expanding relationship."
The pacts signed included Joint Declaration of Intent between HRD ministry and the Federal Foreign Office of Germany regarding the Promotion of German as a Foreign Language in India and the Promotion of Modern Indian Languages in Germany.
The inking of the pact comes as both sides were working to resolve the contentious issue of Sanskrit replacing German as a third language in Kendriya Vidyalaya Schools, a decision which was criticised by Germany with Merkel raising the issue during her meeting with Modi on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Brisbane in November last year.
The two sides also announced setting up a Fast-Track system for German companies in India.