New Delhi: Ahead of his visit to Germany, Denmark and France, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said his trip to Europe comes at a time when the region faces many challenges and choices, and that he intends to strengthen the spirit of cooperation with India's European partners.
In a statement, Modi said he will be visiting Berlin on May 2 at the invitation of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, following which he will travel to Copenhagen on May 3-4 at the invitation of his Danish counterpart Mette Frederiksen to hold bilateral engagements and also participate in the Second India-Nordic Summit.
On the way back to India, Modi said, he will make a brief stopover in Paris for a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.
"My visit to Europe comes at a time when the region faces many challenges and choices," Modi said.
"Through my engagements, I intend to strengthen the spirit of cooperation with our European partners, who are important companions in India's quest for peace and prosperity," the prime minister said in his departure statement.
The visit comes amid the Ukraine crisis, which has united much of Europe against Russia.
Detailing his engagements, Modi said his visit to Berlin will be an opportunity to hold detailed bilateral discussions with Chancellor Scholz, whom he met at G20 last year in his previous capacity as Vice-Chancellor and Finance Minister.
"We will co-chair the 6th India-Germany Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC), a unique biennial format which India conducts only with Germany. Several Indian ministers will also travel to Germany and hold consultations with their German counterparts," Modi said.
The prime minister said he sees this IGC as an early engagement with the new government in Germany, within six months of its formation, which will be helpful to identify priorities for the medium and long term.
In 2021, India and Germany commemorated 70 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations and have been strategic partners since 2000, he noted.
"I look forward to exchanging views with Chancellor Scholz on strategic, regional and global developments that concern us both," Modi said.