Modi arrives in Germany on first leg of four-nation tour

Answering the critics of his "Mann Ki Baat" radio broadcast, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said he had not thought it would be viewed politically when he launched the programme more than two years back.

Moreover, with India's proposed free trade agreement with the European Union in cold storage, it is all the more important that New Delhi's bilateral relations with the big European powers, including Russian Federation, receive the prime minister's full attention. Their strategic partnership is based on democratic values and a commitment to an open, inclusive and rules-based global order, including the expansion of the UN Security Council and terrorism.

Describing Germany as a valuable partner, the prime minister said, "German competencies fit well with my vision for India s transformation".

On 30 May, Chancellor Merkel and I will hold the 4th IGC to review the state of our bilateral relationship.

LexisNexis, a leading global provider of content and technology solutions, is the publishing association in the Prime Minister's initiative. Both leaders will then address the India-Germany Business Summit.

I will have the honour of calling on His Majesty King Felipe VI during this visit.

Prime Minister Modi and Chancellor Merkel will have a luncheon meeting with senior business leaders before inaugurating the Indo-German Business Forum tomorrow.

Even in the reference to Germany as the host of the G20 summit in Hamburg in July this year, PM Modi offered India's full support for a successful outcome.

He will also meet top CEOs of the Spanish industry and encourage them to partner in the "Make in India" initiative.

From Russia, Modi will fly to Paris on June 2 evening and hold a bilateral meeting with French President Macron the next day. I will also have occasion to visit the world famous State Hermitage Museum and the Institute of Oriental manuscripts.

Both leaders will discuss issues of mutual interest in an informal setting over dinner at the 18th-century palace, almost 80 km northwest of Berlin.

Mukherjee said the subjects chosen by the prime minister in "Mann Ki Baat" affect the lives of a billion people.

"I feel that as our "Selfie with Daughter" campaign proved to be a very inspiring experience, this campaign of posting pictures of three generations performing yoga together will evoke curiosity across the nation as well as the world".

  • Jon Douglas