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Merkel arriving early October, agreements to be inked : German Envoy

New Delhi, Sep 3 (IANS) New German envoy Martin Ney said on Thursday that Chancellor Angela Merkel would be accompanied by six senior cabinet ministers when she comes to India in early October for the intergovernmental consultations.

A number of “very substantial cooperation agreements” are likely to be inked during Merkel’s visit, he said.

On August 26, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was in Berlin for talks with her counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier and in 10 days, foreign secretary-level talks between both sides are to be held on Indo-German High Technology Partnership, he said, outlining the close cooperation between the two sides.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Merkel would be meeting within six months after the two met during the joint inauguration of the Hannover Fair, where India was the partner country.

Ney, who presented his credentials to President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday, said that Prime Minister Modi has launched a number of seminal programmes to address the issues of upgrading infrastructure, cleaning the environment and educating and training the youth and Germany has the expertise and concepts to contribute to the programmes.

Listing some of the areas of possible cooperation, he said that Germany’s vocal training system is world-renowned and it can help in the government’s Skill India programme.

Germany can also help in the field of environmental technology, he said noting it hasAcleaned up heavily polluted rivers like the Rhine and Elbe and is ready to help India clean up the rivers Ganga and Yamuna.

On the issue of German language the envoy said “India and Germany are working on a proposal to end the language issue involving the two countries. According to the minutes of the declaration that may be signed on the eve of German Chancellor Angela Markel’s visit to India, Hindi will form part of school curriculum in Germany and in return Kendriya Vidyalayas will restore teaching of German.”

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