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Ahead Of G20, German, French Heads To Visit India; Green Hydrogen, Indo-pacific On Agenda

Energy security, maritime security and the strengthening of trade and economic relations are all expected to be priorities for Europe's two largest economies

Photo Credit : AFP


Two European Union (EU) leaders, Germany and France, are expected to visit India in the first quarter of 2023. The leaders' visits are significant because they coincide with India's G20 presidency, the assumption of the Wassenaar Agreement chairmanship and the presidency of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Though not officially announced, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is expected to visit India near the end of February, with the focus on discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Indo-Pacific, Defence and Security, Climate Change and the adoption of green energy, among other issues.

Also, French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to visit New Delhi in early March, with the Indo-Pacific Region, Climate Change and the deepening of Strategic Relationships in Defence and Security topping the agenda of bilateral talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Later this year, both EU leaders will return for the G20 Summit in September. On Thursday, French President Emmanuel Bonne’s diplomatic adviser Emmanuel Bonne was in Delhi for the 36th Indo-French Strategic Dialogue. He spoke with his counterpart, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, met with External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar, and later met with PM Narendra Modi.

Energy security, maritime security and the strengthening of trade and economic relations are all expected to be priorities for Europe's two largest economies. The two countries have also issued individual policy statements on the Indo-Pacific, with India identified as a key player.

According to an official statement issued by the French Embassy in New Delhi, the focus of diplomatic adviser Emmanuel Bonne's one-day visit was the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, defence and security, cyber-security, space, civil nuclear energy counter-terrorism and Indo-Pacific cooperation.

On the other side, both India and France are in talks to speed up the process of establishing civil nuclear reactors in Jaitapur, Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra, ahead of the French President's expected visit.

The last time Macron visited France was in March 2018. Several important documents were issued during that visit, including the Joint Statements, the India-France Joint Vision for Space Cooperation, and the Joint Strategic Vision of India-France Cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region.

This will be the German Chancellor's first visit to India since taking office in 2021. However, this will be his third meeting with PM Modi, as the two leaders met twice in 2022, once in March for the Intergovernmental Consultations and again in July for the G7 summit. The two countries have signed 14 agreements covering a wide range of sectors, including green partnership, migration and mobility, and development cooperation.

In the presence of both leaders, a Joint Declaration of Intent on a Green and Sustainable Development Partnership was signed in 2022. Within the framework of the G4, India and Germany both support the expansion of the UN Security Council.