Germany keen on India role in ‘Climate Club’, may figure in talks during Scholz visit

With the key European Union member countries reaching out to India in a bid to ramp up ties in strategic, defence, security and economic sectors, New Delhi is sparing no effort to keep the focus on China’s aggressive agenda in the Indo-Pacific and at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) during all the meetings. External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval discussed “China’s belligerence” quite elaborately during talks with Jens Plotner who is Foreign and Security Policy Advisor to the German Chancellor. “Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China’s aggressive stance there figured prominently during the talks between Jaishankar and Plotner. NSA Doval also discussed this agenda with the visiting German official who met both of them separately on Monday,” sources told The Daily Guardian.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is scheduled to visit New Delhi 25 February for a summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Sources said that the challenges being posed by China in the Indo-Pacific would also be one of the topics to be discussed between PM Modi and Scholz. “Some final details are being discussed before the visit is officially announced,” sources said.
Significantly, another key EU nation Italy is reaching out to India with plans to explore new avenues in security, strategic and economic ties with New Delhi. Sources said that Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is likely to visit New Delhi in March after the scheduled visit of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz later this month. This would be Meloni’s first visit to India in her current capacity since taking office in October last year. Sources told TDG that India is keen to use the Italian PM’s visit to discuss various issues including “Chinese aggression in the Indo-Pacific and LAC”. “Highlighting concerns over China’s blatant disrespect for international law would be part of India’s ongoing diplomatic campaign to garner global support against Beijing’s aggressions across various geographies,” sources remarked.
The European Union has always taken a strong note of China’s agenda to expand influence undermining the sovereignty of other countries. Last year, European Parliament members had overwhelmingly backed a resolution that condemned China’s military aggression against Taiwan. In a strongly worded and hard hitting resolution, they said that “Beijing’s provocative actions must have consequences on relations with the European Union.”
In this background, India is keen to raise the issue of Chinese aggression during meetings with the leaders from European Union nations. The visits of the German Chancellor and the Italian PM would be quite significant in this context, sources said. Scholz visit is important as Germany and India are strategic partners. Germany is keen to build submarines in India. It may be recalled that Germany sent a warship on a friendly visit to Mumbai, and was concerned about the Indo-Pacific and China’s aggression. So, during talks with German Chancellor’s security and foreign policy advisor Plotner, Jaishankar made it a point to highlight the issues related to China in what would set the agenda for the summit meeting between PM Modi and Scholz.   
Similarly, PM Meloni’s visit to India will also be significant. Prime Minister Modi and Italian Prime Minister Meloni had met on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Bali in November and discussed a range of issues. This year, both nations celebrate 75 years of diplomatic relations. Italy has recently expressed desire to contribute to India in shaping a new vision of the Indo-Pacific, on connectivity, maritime security, and energy transition.

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