Ahead of the German chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to India, Germany has reiterated its support to the European Union position on Kashmir.
Walter Lindner, the German ambassador to India, speaking to the media said, “Both leaders can discuss anything so this issue (Kashmir) may come up. We fully support the EU position in the matter. As was detailed by Mogherini. Our position remains that Article 370 is an internal matter for India. But we support dialogue between India and Pakistan and any restrictions (in Kashmir) should be lifted as soon as possible.”
Lindner also said that the ongoing visit by EU MEPs was a private visit. “The EU has already said it is a private visit and that is our stand too. We didn’t have any idea that they are coming to India and I know as much as you do,” added the German ambassador.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be arriving on Thursday to sign nearly 20 agreements with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Lindner has informed that representatives of about 15 ministries of the German government would be in the delegation.
The German ambassador said that the two heads of the government will discuss regarding the stalled Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA). “We regret the delay in the BTIA. Germany is an export nation. We’re second only to China in exports and are totally in favour of free trade agreements. The fact that we have made no movement is not good.”
Merkel will be accompanied by 13 business leaders too. Reportedly, Angela Merkel will also be visiting Raj Ghat on Friday and also visiting Gandhi Smriti. Merkel will also be interacting with Indian female personalities who made an impact in the society, Lindner said. ”
India and Germany are expected to sign deals on green urban mobility, artificial intelligence, agriculture and football training.