Germany, India sign defence accord

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Thursday, September 7, 2006

A defence and security agreement was signed in Berlin today by India and Germany, heralding a new era of cooperation between the two nations. India's Defence Minister Prnab Mukherjee and his German counterpart Franz Josef Jung signed the deal after a meeting at Defence Ministry. The two countries agreed to training and exchanging senior personnel, as well as to the formation of a joint committee to hold annual meetings in either nation.

The two ministers also exchanged views on combatting international terrorism, described by Mukherjee as "the biggest threat to peace and stability". He also stated that the aim of the agreement was to "expand relations from the level of a buyer-and-seller relationship to that of co-production and the transfer of technology". On his part, Jung spoke about the cooperation between German and Indian forces during UN peacekeeping missions, such as the effort to monitor elections in Congo. He also said that the two countries would, most likely, be involved in overseeing the truce between Israel and the Hezbollah.

Mukherjee had, on Tuesday, visited France, where he had talks with his counterpart in that country Michele Alliot-Marie, about increasing Indo-French defence cooperation. He also met the German Ecomonic Minister Michael Glos and visited a cemetery in Zehrensdorf to pay homage to Indian soldiers killed in action in World War I. Mukeherjee will conclude his trip on Friday.

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