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German President to focus on bilateral ties expansion

New Delhi, Feb.5 : German President Joachim Gauck is expected to focus on a vast spectrum of bilateral issues when he meets his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his six-day state visit to India.


Gauck arrived on Tuesday evening on a six-day state visit, accompanied by a high-ranking delegation comprising representatives of the German cabinet, Parliament and business.

Gauck said he was hopeful of cementing economic ties with India with increased interaction in the fields of education, science and technology.

"I come to India this is my first visit to the India since I have assumed the office as president and I have come deliberately to acknowledge the oldest democracy in this part of the world. I very much expect that Indians and Germans would very much cooperate ever more clearly given the present situation and I look forward to fulfill exchanges with my counterpart and my partner, President, Prime Minister and politicians and members of the civil society," said Gauck.

Gauck has a strong background in civil society movements as a pastor in the erstwhile East Germany during the Communist Party rule.

Gauck has a rich life story shaped by the Cold War. When he was 11, his father was sent to the Siberian Gulag for alleged espionage and did not return for four years. That experience fostered an abiding aversion to totalitarianism.

Recalling the recent visit of Singh, Gauck said relations between India and Germany have traditionally been cordial and looked forward to close cultural, people-to-people relations.

"I have fond memories of the visit that the Prime Minister paid to Berlin recently and the fulfill exchanges we had, I very much we will be able to continue them today, I am deeply impressed by the diversity and the invocative life of this great country across. The Germans have very much admired the political and the cultural tradition of this country and we hope to learn more during our visit about the ongoing development and ongoing debates in India," said Gauck.

He is scheduled to pay a visit to Karnataka to hold a meeting with the Governor of Karnataka among other engagements.

He is also expected to visit Rajghat to pay homage to the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) release, India and Germany have been strategic partners since 2000 and, with the commencement of Inter-Governmental Consultations in 2011, there has been noteworthy progress in all areas of bilateral cooperation through regular high-level exchanges at the Head of Government level as also due to cooperation in strategic areas and growing economic and commercial ties.

Germany continues to be India's largest trading partner in Europe and also work closely together in the international arena.

The President would be travelling to Myanmar from India on February 9.

--ANI (Posted on 06-02-2014)

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