Union Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs MJ Akbar will be treated as a cabinet-rank minister during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Germany, according to a report by The Indian Express. The report added that this decision was taken as Sushma Swaraj is not able to travel and Akbar will act as her proxy on this trip. Both governments have a dialogue format, which is called Intergovernmental Consultation(IGC), under which four cabinet ministers of each government meet their counterparts along with the prime minister and the German chancellor, an Indian Express report said.
With External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj unable to travel, MJ Akbar will accompany prime minister on the tour, according to the Indian Express. He will meet German Foreign Minister and not the deputy minister. As per the paper, the step is considered unique as Europeans are said to be protocol conscious. PM Narendra Modi, will reach Germany on Monday for a two-day visit. During his visit, India and Germany are likely to sign agreements on, investment and energy, apart from exploring ways to enhance defence cooperation, another Indian Express report.
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The report added that German envoy Martin Ney had said that the prime minister and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are expected to discuss on several issues including the situation in the South China Sea, China’s Belt and Road initiative and the growing threat of terrorism. The issue of India’s bid for Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) may also come up in the talks between the two leaders. Ney had asserted on Germany supports to New Delhi’s accession to different export control regimes, including NSG, Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement.
The German envoy, while identifying terrorism as a huge challenge said his country is with India in fighting the menace. Ney also noted that his country has been sharing intelligence with the India.