Raksha Mantri Nirmala Sitharaman concluded an official bilateral visit (12-13 February 2019) to Germany, at the invitation of her counterpart, Federal Minister of Defence of Germany, Dr Ursula von der Leyen.
During the visit, the two Ministers comprehensively reviewed the gamut of bilateral defence cooperation which is emerging as an important facet of India-Germany Strategic Partnership. They noted with satisfaction the steady growth in bilateral defence ties.
The two Ministers signed an Implementing Arrangement on Enhanced Defence and Defence Industry Cooperation which would further strengthen military to military engagement as well as defence industry and R & D linkages. They also exchanged views on regional and international developments of mutual interest.
Raksha Mantri addressed a select audience at the prestigious German think tank DGAP (German Council on Foreign Relations), on ‘India’s Defence Engagement in a Disordered World: Principles, Priorities and Partnerships’.
RM highlighted India’s defence priorities and engagements with the aim to contribute towards a secure, stable and peaceful environment and enable greater prosperity for all. RM emphasised the need for like-minded liberal democracies with common values and common interests, such as India and Germany, to build on the commonality of assessments on strategic issues and work together to strengthen the rules-based world order.
During her visit, RM also interacted with CEOs of German and Indian defence industry. The Minister urged them to expand their collaboration in defence manufacturing in India under the ‘Make in India’ initiative as well as promote defence technology and R&D cooperation with Indian companies.