Energy, Food Security Key Items on PM Agenda for Germany, UAE Trips

India’s trading arrangements for crude oil procurement are based on national energy security consideration, foreign secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra said on Friday, ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s trip to Germany and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) beginning Sunday.

Kwatra was answering a question on what will India‘s approach be if it faces criticism during the upcoming G7 summit in Germany for its procurement of Russian crude oil.

Energy and food security will key items on the agenda of Modi‘s trip to both Germany and the UAE. The foreign secretary said India’s consideration for crude oil purchases has been very well understood by the global community. Discounted oil purchases from Russia now constitute 10 per cent of India’s total oil imports.

Modi will visit the Alpine castle of Schloss Elmau in southern Germany on June 26-27 to attend the annual summit of G7 countries as an invitee. He will be part of two sessions, including one on climate change. The PM is expected to speak in two sessions that include environment, energy, climate, food security, health, gender equality and democracy.

Modi will travel to the UAE on June 28 to pay his condolences on the passing away of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the former president of the Gulf nation.

“As far as the Prophet issue is concerned, almost all Gulf nations have an understanding of India’s position. We have communicated our stand on various platforms. I don’t think that will be taken forward anymore,” Kwatra said when asked about the controversy over remarks about the Prophet by BJP spokespersons.

Kwatra said, “PM Modi’s visit to UAE will focus on two main issues, first to pay condolences on the passing away of former UAE President and Abu Dhabi ruler Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and second to congratulate Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for becoming President of the UAE.”

This will be the PM’s first meeting with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan since his election as the new President of the UAE.

The foreign secretary also talked about India-UAE relations. He said the relations are dynamic, robust and widespread. “Energy security is an important pillar of our relations. People-to-people connect is another aspect. Security, environment, education and investment are other areas of discussion between the two countries,” he said. Kwatra said India’s regular participation at G7 summits clearly points to increasing acceptance of the country’s role to find solutions to solve key global challenges.Besides India, Germany has invited Argentina, Indonesia, Senegal and South Africa to the G7 Summit. During the visit, Modi will also hold bilateral meetings and discussions with the leaders of G7, as also the guest countries on the sidelines of the summit, said Kwatra.

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