May 2 (UPI) — On his first trip abroad in 2022, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Germany on Monday for the first leg of his three-country European trip, during which he will also visit Denmark and France.
The trip, which will last until May 4, will include around two dozen engagements, including bilateral and multilateral meetings with other world leaders from seven countries.
“My visit to Europe comes at a time when the region faces many challenges and choices,” Modi said in a statement before leaving India, according to the Indian Express.
“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,” he said.
Indian Foreign Minister Vinay Mohan Kwatra said on Sunday that Modi aimed to strengthen bilateral partnerships and “exchange perspectives” on the ongoing war in Ukraine during the three-day trip.
Modi said in Berlin that recent events have brought world peace to a state of “critical condition”.
“We believe that no side will emerge victorious from this war,” he said of the conflict in Ukraine initiated by Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to The Times of India.
On Monday, Modi met German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, with whom India has shared a strategic partnership since May 2000.
The world leaders co-chaired the India-Germany intergovernmental consultations, highlighting their countries’ relations and their shared views on regional and global concerns.
Modi announced during his visit to Germany that India remained determined to make rapid progress in negotiating a free trade agreement with the European Union. Meanwhile, Scholz said his country was “ready to continue and deepen the close cooperation with India” on issues impacting the world, The Times of India reported.
The two nations agreed on Monday to work together on agroecology and the sustainable management of natural agricultural resources.
Germany plans to provide 300 million euros in loans for the initiatives by 2025.
After leaving Germany, Modi will meet Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen in Copenhagen, Denmark, while communicating with leaders of Iceland, Finland, Sweden and Norway on Tuesday during the second India-North Summit.
The Prime Minister will then visit French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Wednesday before returning to India.