Press Trust of india

Rajnath Singh holds talks with German counterpart Pistorius

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New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday held wide-ranging talks with his German counterpart Boris Pistorius, focusing on ways to expand bilateral defence and strategic ties.

Ahead of the talks, people familiar with the agenda of the meeting said defence industrial cooperation would be a key area of discussions.

The German defence minister is on a four-day visit to India.

The people cited above said it is expected that India’s plan to procure six stealth conventional submarines at a cost of around Rs 43,000 crore would figure in the talks between the two defence ministers.

One of the contenders of the contract is Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS).

Before travelling to India from Indonesia, Pistorius told German’s state-owned  broadcaster DW that India’s continuing reliance on Russian weapons is not in Germany’s interest.

“It is not up to Germany to change that on our own,” Pistorius said while replying to a question on India’s dependence on Russian weaponry

“This is an issue we have to solve jointly with other partners. But of course, we can’t have an interest in the long run that India is so dependent on Russia’s delivery of weapons or other materials,” he said.

“I want to send a signal that we are willing to support our partners, our reliable partners like Indonesia, like India,” he said.

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