New Delhi: According to reports in German media, Iran temporarily refused to allow Chancellor Angela Merkel ‘s plane to enter its airspace during her flight to India.
The plane reportedly had to circle over Turkey for two hours before being given permission to enter Iranian airspace.
On a one-day visit to India, Merkel is meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi today. The two will hold crucial talks on economic cooperation, counter terrorism and defence technologies – part of first inter-governmental consultations at the cabinet-level between India and Germany.
India is the first Asian country and one of very few nations with which Germany holds a joint cabinet meeting. This is seen as a demonstration of its high esteem for India as a long-standing and reliable partner and as a recognition of the country’s rapidly growing economic clout and technological prowess. India was one of the first nations to recognise the Federal Republic of Germany, when it was carved out of the three zones occupied by the western allies at the end of World War II and Ms Merkel will be paying tribute to 60 years of “successful” diplomatic relations between the two countries.
She will also attend in the evening a concert marking the opening of the “Year of Germany in India.”
The Indo-German inter-governmental consultations in New Delhi will be chaired jointly by Chancellor Merkel and Singh and it will be attended by five German cabinet ministers as well as senior officials from several ministries.
Among them are Germany’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Guido Westerwelle, Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere, Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich, Minister for Transport and Construction Peter Ramsauer and Minister for Education and Research Annete Schavan.
GERMANY ANNOUNCES END TO NUCLEAR POWER BY 2022
In a landmark decision, Germany yesterday decided to phase out nuclear power by 2022. Germany’s Environment Minister said that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government has agreed to shut down all of the country’s nuclear power plants by 2022.
Norbert Roettgen also says the seven oldest reactors taken off the grid pending safety inspections following Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster in March will remain offline permanently.
He said all but the three newest reactors will be shut down by 2021, and the remainder a year later.
Roettgen announced the agreement early on Monday morning after hour-long negotiations between the governing parties.
Merkel in 2010 had pushed through to extend the lifespan of the country’s 17 reactors with the last one scheduled to go offline in 2036, but she completely reversed her policy in the wake of Japan’s nuclear disaster. She described the move as a step that will make her country a pioneer in renewable energy.