Merkel,Modi to sign at least 20 pacts 

Merkel,Modi to sign at least 20 pacts 

Agency News

At least 20 agreements would be signed between India and Germany signifying their broad-based ties and the 'very close' relationship between the two countries, the German Chancellor, Mrs.  Angela Merkel said in New Delhi on Friday.

She made the remarks after being received by the Prime Minister at the Rashtrapati Bhavan where she was accorded a ceremonial welcome after arriving here on Thursday night on a two-day visit. Speaking to reporters with Mr. Narendra Modi by her side, Mrs. Merkel said she was delighted to be in India for the fifth Inter-Governmental Consultations.

'I would like to thank the Prime Minister for the very warm and gracious welcome with which we have been received here. This is my fourth visit to India and I look forward to the very interesting programme,' she said.

'Germany and India are linked by very close ties. We will have discussions on issues of mutual interest. We also have the opportunity of signing a number of MoUs and agreements that shows that we have a very broad-based and deep relationship,' she said.

Germany and India had been cooperating for many years and would build on this cooperation in future, the German chancellor said. 'This is a very close relationship. We have great respect for this vast country and its diversity,” she added.

Mrs. Merkel will pay tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat later and  then co-chair the fifth IGC with Mr. Modi, following which the two leaders will make press statements and various agreements will be signed.

Mrs. Merkel would hold talks with Mr. Modi on a host of bilateral issues and nearly 20 agreements were expected to be signed.