New Delhi: India and Germany, in a joint statement, on Friday called upon all countries to work towards rooting out terrorist safe havens and infrastructure while asserting on the need to halt cross border movement of terrorists. This came as visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel held talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi here as part of the 5th Inter-Governmental Consultations.

Further, both leaders underlined the need for all countries to ensure that their territory is not used to launch terror attacks on other countries in any manner. PM Modi and Merkel also stressed the importance of combined effort of all countries to fight global terrorism.

With the statement having a large section on combating terrorism, strengthening Cooperation in the Field of Artificial Intelligence and Digital Transformation also formed a major part of it.

Significantly, India and Germany inked over 20 agreements, including in the field of Artificial Intelligence, green urban mobility and agriculture.

Both sides are also focusing on strategic cooperation in the field of new and advanced technology. The two sides have stressed on cooperation in the fields of new and advanced technology, Artificial Intelligence, skills, education, cyber-security, PM Modi said.

The two countries have also agreed to explore cooperation in news areas like e-mobility, fuel cell technology, smart cities, inland waterways, coastal management, cleaning of rivers and climate change, he added.

“We invite Germany to take advantage of opportunities in the field of defence production in defence corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu,” Modi said.

He said the expertise of a technological and economic powerhouse like Germany would be useful in the path of building a ‘new India’ by 2022.

India and Germany will continue cooperation to expedite reforms in the UN Security Council, Modi said.

Merkel, attired in a red trouser suit, said the MoUs inked between the two sides “show how broad the scope of our cooperation is”.

“In Artificial Intelligence and digital transformation, India has a huge potential in the field of digitalisation. In the field of 5G and AI, it would be a challenge, and if we can work together it would be a wonderful way of cooperation,” Mekel said.

“Trade, innovation, investment and knowledge, our economic relations have increased, but could be intensified more,” she added.

Referring to the fast-track mechanism set up to resolve niggling trade issues, Merkel said thanks to it Germany has been able to bring cases “where difficulties have occurred in terms of economic investments, and find help quickly”. This, she said, would help in making India a modern industrialised nation.

She also said 20,000 Indian students are studying in Germany, and the country now wanted to invite Indian teachers there for vocational training, which she said is a big part of the cooperation.

She said Germany wants to participate in big infrastructure projects, in sustainable development, like waste management, pure water and climate issues.

Referring to her meeting with women representatives working in different fields, Merkel said the two can also cooperate in the field of child care, woman and careers and science.

Both can also work in the field of football and exchange of cultural goods, as well as agricultural cooperation, and digitalisation.

Referring to the business delegation accompanying her, she said they were from the SME sector and wanted to be present in the growing Indian market to make it a “win-win” situation.

“On the state level, we want to learn from each other — defence, cyber, are other sectors of cooperation,” she added.

The five Declarations of Intent, were in the field of Consultations for the period 2020-2024, cooperation in strategic projects, in green urban mobility, for joint cooperation in research and development in the field of Artificial and Intelligence and in the field of prevention of marine litter.

The 17 MoUs included for Exchange of Personnel between ISRO and German Aerospace Centre, Cooperation in the Field of Civil Aviation, Cooperation within the International Smart Cities Network, Cooperation in Skills Development and Vocational Education and Training, in the field of Start-ups, in Agricultural Market Development, among others.

The others included cooperation in Inland, Coastal and Maritime Technology, Setting up of Academic Collaboration in Ayurveda, Yoga and Meditation, in Higher Education, between All India Football Federation (AIFF) and Deutscher FuAYball-Bund e.V (DFB), and on Indo-German Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement.

Merkel reached Delhi on Thursday for a two-day state visit. She was received at the airport by Minister of State in the PMO, Jitendra Singh. She, along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi co-chaired the biennial Fifth Inter-Governmental Consultations. This is the fifth meeting between the two leaders within a year.

“Enriching the strategic texture of our relationship. German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in Delhi beginning her State visit to India during which she, along with PM Narendra Modi will co-chair the 5th IGC,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

(With IANS inputs)