External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock on Monday and the two leaders reviewed the bilateral cooperation and discussed the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the Indo-Pacific.

Jaishankar, who is here as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s delegation, said that he had good conversation with Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany Baerbock.

Good conversation with FM @ABaerbock. Reviewed our bilateral cooperation. Discussed Ukraine conflict & Indo-Pacific. Signed agreement on direct encrypted connection between the two Foreign Offices. Will be reporting at the Inter-Governmental Consultations Plenary, he tweeted.

China has territorial disputes with many countries in the strategic Indo-Pacific region.

The Chinese government claims nearly all of the disputed South China Sea, though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it. Beijing has built artificial islands and military installations in the South China Sea. Beijing is also involved in a maritime dispute with Japan over the East China Sea.

India, along with its Quad partners the US, Australia and Japan, had pledged to ensure a “free and open” Indo-Pacific, which is also “inclusive and resilient”, during an in-person summit hosted by US President Joe Biden in Washington in September last year.

The four countries noted that the strategically vital region, witnessing China’s growing military manoeuvring, is a bedrock of their shared security and prosperity.

Jaishankar also met Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Svenja Schulze and discussed climate action, resilient and reliable supply chains, third country partnerships and economic impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Pleasure to meet German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development @SvenjaSchulze68. Discussed climate action, resilient and reliable supply chains, third country partnerships and economic impact of Ukraine conflict.

Signed agreements on Triangular Development Cooperation and Renewable Energy Partnership, he said in a series of tweets.

The 6th India-Germany Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC), to be attended by Jaishankar along with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, will further strengthen the India-Germany strategic partnership.

Launched in 2011, the IGC is a unique biennial mechanism which allows the two governments to coordinate on a wide spectrum of bilateral issues. Many ministers from both sides will participate in the IGC.

Germany is India’s largest trading partner in Europe with a bilateral trade of over USD 21 billion.

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