One can find posters around Rajpath Bhawan in New Delhi which read “Willkommen in Indien” German for welcome to India to greet German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is on an India visit currently. Merkel arrived along with German ministers of foreign affairs, science and education, food and agriculture and an official delegation in New Delhi on Thursday in a two-day visit to strengthen Indo-German relations.

On Friday, she co-chaired the fifth round of Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC) with PM Narendra Modi. She met with PM Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind to discuss the new German-Indian partnership.

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One of the main highlights of her visit has been to promote environment-friendly ways of transport. Since she visited Delhi at a time when Delhi air is severely toxic, she proposed the introduction of electric buses to replace diesel ones used for public transport in urban centres in the capital city.

“We will also earmark 200 million euros to reform bus sector in Tamil Nadu. Whoever has looked at pollution in Delhi yesterday would find very good arguments to replacing diesel buses with electric buses,” Merkel was quoted as saying by news agency ANI at a business meeting in Delhi.

As she expressed her concern over air pollution in the city, she promised that Germany will spend one billion euros or $1.12 billion in the next five years on green urban mobility projects conceived the revised Indo-German partnership.

During a press interaction with German journalists afterwards, Merkel also spoke up on the Kashmir issue as she said the situation was “not sustainable and good”

During a press interaction with German journalists afterwards, Merkel also spoke up on the Kashmir issue as she said the situation was “not sustainable and good”, adding that the ground situation in the Valley “needs to change for sure.” While she said that she would raise the matter with PM Modi, she also stated that she is aware of his stand on the situation and said that she would like to hear his plan to restore peace in the region.

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Today, she called for “a fresh attempt at a European-Indian free trade agreement” at an event at the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce in New Delhi. She also met the German business community here in India apart from visiting an Indian factory of German automotive company Continental.

The last thing on her itinerary was peculiarly to visit the Dwarka 21 metro station in New Delhi which has some history with Germany. Apparently, the solar panels fitted on top of this metro station are a gift from Germany. Merkel decided to stop at the metro station to review the project before boarding her flight back to Germany thing afternoon.

Picture Credit: NDTV

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