German Foreign Minister to mend ties in India after his snide remarks on Kashmir

India and Germany on Monday signed a Mobility Partnership Agreement and held wide-ranging discussions on major global challenges, including the Ukraine conflict, the situation in Afghanistan and cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan. The German Foreign Minister arrived here this morning on a two-day visit to discuss ways to further enhance bilateral cooperation in a range of areas, including energy, trade, defense and security and climate change.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Bierbock’s visit is taking place in the shadow of her snide remarks on Kashmir, which tantamount to interfering in India’s internal matter. He made his remarks in response to a question during a joint press conference with Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto in Bonn, Germany.

Appropriately, the Indian government took strong objection to German Foreign Minister Annalena Bierbock’s call for “engagement of the United Nations”. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) termed such comments as a “grave injustice” to the victims of terrorism.

During the joint press conference, Jaishankar emphasized on the acts and roots of global terrorism from Pakistan, said the situation in Afghanistan and cross-border terrorism from Pakistan were discussed. He asserted that if Pakistan continues with cross-border terrorism, there cannot be talks with it.

It is important to highlight that India continues to refute the statement made by Minister Baerbock which is baseless and violates the framework of Indo-German bilateral relations.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also strongly defended India’s crude oil imports from Russia, while noting that it is largely driven by market forces.

Asked why India is buying crude oil from Russia, Jaishankar hit back, saying, “From February to November, the European Union imported more fossil fuels from Russia than the next 10 countries combined.”

External Affairs Minister Jaishankar hints that India will continue to prioritize its own energy needs and buy oil from Russia, as Western governments pressure Moscow with price caps to reduce its earnings from oil exports.

He said: “Europe will make the choice it will. It is their right. It comes in the backdrop of a price-cap on Russian oil imposed by the Group of Seven major industrialized nations and the European Union which is expected to come into effect from Monday. India not committed to $60 a barrel price cap on Russian oil

Jaishankar also said that India’s position on the Ukraine issue is clear that this is not an era of war and the conflict should be resolved through dialogue.

Addressing the media, Germany’s foreign minister described India as a role model for many countries and said Berlin wanted to strengthen its security cooperation with New Delhi.

When asked about the challenges facing the region from China, Baerbock said there is a need to assess the threats, calling Beijing a competitor and rival in many ways. “We now know what happens when one country becomes too dependent on another that does not share the same values,” Barbock said.

On the signing of the Mobility Agreement between India and Germany, he said it is a strong indication of the basis for a more contemporary bilateral partnership. He explained that the agreement would make it easier for people to study, research and work in each other’s country.

Germany is India’s largest trading partner in Europe. German investments in India are mainly in transport, electrical equipment, construction, trade and automobiles.

Earlier in a statement, Baerbock had said, “The Government of India has set ambitious goals for its people not only at the G20 but also at the domestic level. When it comes to expanding renewable energy, India wants to get ahead with the energy transition more than ever. Germany stands by the side of India.

India and Germany are exploring ways to expand bilateral economic ties. Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Chancellor Olaf Scholz on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Bali.

While the German Foreign Minister tried to put forth the positive elements sought to strengthen economic, climate and security policy cooperation with India beyond the strategic partnership, to re-establish the relationship on the basis of sustained dialogue and concrete measures But there should be more effort.