Angela Merkel says can develop India ties and keep up US relationship

German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivers a speech during a joint campaigning event of the Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union in Munich southern Germany

The leaders of Germany and India heaped mutual praise upon each other Tuesday - each referring to the other as a "reliable partner" in a notable contrast to Chancellor Angela Merkel's recent public doubts about Germany's ties with the United States.

Modi said that Germany will always find India as powerful, prepared and a capable partner.

Both countries reiterated their full support to each other's candidatures for a permanent seat in a reformed and expanded UN Security Council.

A German foreign ministry spokesman, Martin Schaefer, stressed that India enjoys rapid economic growth and development and, with a current population of over 1.3 billion, "will soon be the most populous country on Earth".

Merkel talked to Modi in Berlin about developing cooperation with India.

"We will chart out a future roadmap of cooperation with focus on trade and investment, security and counter-terrorism, innovation and science and technology, skill development, urban infrastructure, railways and civil aviation, The Prime Minister said before he left for Berlin".

For his part, Modi declared that "the world needs a strong leadership, which is demonstrated by Chancellor Merkel".

Europe must step up as a player in world affairs, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday, signalling that the European Union needs to take control of its destiny in the era of US President Donald Trump.

On Monday, Modi and Merkel held a private meeting in the latter's country resort of Schloss Meseberg, 65 km from Berlin, in which a range of issues, including terrorism, climate change were discussed. "The figures speak for themselves", she said. "Germany also welcomed India s intensified engagement with the other export control regimes - the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement - and expressed its support for India's early accession to these regimes", the statement said.

"For that reason it's important to us that we make progress on the German-Indian, or rather EU-Indian free trade agreement", she said at a Berlin business forum where she shared a platform with Modi.

Germany is the first leg of the Prime Minister's six-day, four-nation European tour which will also see him going to Spain, Russia and France.

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