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Updated: December 12, 2010 02:42 IST

Terrorism cannot be used to solve political problems, says Merkel

Neena Vyas
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A STEP FORWARD: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and German Chancellor Angela Merkel address a joint press conference at the chancellery in Berlin on Saturday.
AP
A STEP FORWARD: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and German Chancellor Angela Merkel address a joint press conference at the chancellery in Berlin on Saturday.

Manmohan Singh says Germany should relax its export control laws

A brief but intensive dialogue on a whole range of subjects from reform of the United Nations and the security situation in the Asian sub-continent were discussed at a bilateral summit between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and German Chancellor Angela Merkel here on Saturday.

There was every indication that Dr. Singh's Berlin stopover on the way back from the Brussels India-European Union Summit was one more step forward in strengthening the India-Germany strategic partnership.

During a joint press conference here on Saturday evening, Chancellor Merkel mentioned the problem of terrorism and said “terrorism cannot be used to solve essentially political problems.” Although she did not mention Pakistan — Germany's NATO ally — it was a clear reference to the use of terrorism by Pakistan to resolve what it describes as the Kashmir issue.

Recent terrorist threat to Germany itself from the Lashkar-e-Taiba has increased German sensitivity to what India has been facing for years.

Both Dr. Singh and Chancellor Merkel referred to the two countries together using their stint as non-permanent members of the Security Council to promote the idea of urgent need for U.N. reforms.

Dr. Singh mentioned that he talked to Chancellor Merkel about the “untapped potential for high technology trade” between the two countries and the need for Germany to relax its export control laws. When asked about this issue, she said that once the India-EU free trade agreement went through the issue could get resolved.

The Prime Minister also said that the two had discussed the possibility of entering into “bilateral cooperation in civil nuclear energy.”

Dr. Singh said India deeply valued Germany's consistent support in the Nuclear Suppliers Group for the opening of international commerce for New Delhi in the field of civil nuclear energy.

Skill development

In vocational training, Dr. Singh said, India had chosen Germany as a preferred partner as this area of skill development would be crucial for India's development.

The brief but intensive exchange of views took place at a restricted summit meeting and later over a working dinner the dialogue continued with each of them accompanied by six officials.

Chancellor Merkel had already said she looked forward to visiting India next year as she had accepted Dr. Singh's invitation to her.

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