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Manmohan-merkel TAlks
Terror unacceptable, Germany tells Pak

Berlin, December 11
In a stern message to Pakistan, Germany today made it clear that terrorism is not a means to solve political problems and this is "unacceptable".

The concerns over terrorism figured during wide-ranging talks Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had with German Chancellor Angela Merkel here.

"It has been made clear to Pakistan that terrorism is not a means to an end to solve political problems. It is unacceptable," Merkel said at a joint press interaction with Manmohan Singh.

The Prime Minister said both sides discussed the possibility of entering into bilateral cooperation in civil-nuclear energy.

If this crystalises, Germany will follow the US, France and some other countries for civil-nuclear cooperation with India.

Manmohan Singh said India deeply valued Germany's consistent support in the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group for the opening of international commerce for New Delhi in the field of civil-nuclear energy.

Both leaders said India and Germany would work hard together to advance UN Security Council reforms for expansion of both permanent and non-permanent seats.

Both India and Germany will assume non-permanent seats in the Security Council from January 1, 2011, for a two-year period.

The two sides agreed to enhance bilateral trade from the present level of 13 billion euro to 20 billion euros by 2012.

On his part Manmohan Singh said relaxation of German export control laws would bring in a new horizon for expanding bilateral trade. The Prime Minister said there were no bilateral irritants in the excellent Indo-German relations and "we believe sky is the limit for their cooperation". He said he had invited Merkel to visit India next year.

He said India would play its part in arriving at a pragmatic and balanced solution within the framework of the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change. "The world must continue to build upon the progress that has been made at the Cancun conference," he said.

Merkel said Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh had made an "important contribution" at the Cancun conference.

Manmohan Singh flew in here from Brussels after attending the India-European Union summit for a working visit to Germany at the invitation of Merkel.

Germany is India's largest trading partner in the 27-nation European Union with bilateral trade growing in the recent years to reach 13.4 billion euros in 2008.

Bilateral trade decreased marginally to 13.09 billion euro, but has revived and is growing by over 15 per cent and reached 9.8 billion euro during January-August, 2010.

Ahead of the talks, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said India's engagement with Germany was strong and multi-faceted.

Chancellor Merkel replied in the negative when asked if there was a "trust deficit" that was preventing Germany to lift restrictions on technology transfer to India.

"There is no trust deficit. We are taking our strategic cooperation seriously. There is a positive development in military to military cooperation," she said.

Merkel said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Brussels for the India-EU summit has given a push for the negotiations in finalising the ambitious bilateral trade and investment agreement.

With the agreement in the last stage of negotiations, both India and the EU need to make compromises to ensure that the path-breaking pact is finalised by March-April next.

Merkel said India and Germany would work to advance reforms in the UN Security Council. "Now that India and Germany have got non-permanent membership, the two countries will have interest in seeing that reforms advanced." PTI



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