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Germany to boost Indo-Pacific engagement with large military deployment to India

NEW DELHI (PTI): Germany has planned a "never before" military deployment to India to underline that its engagement in the Indo-Pacific is "serious and long lasting".

"So what we have planned this year, together with our Indian partners, is something that has never been there before the German Air Force. The German Air Force will send jets to India, but not on our own. We never go alone. We will do it with the French, Spanish and British," said Sebastian Fuchs, a spokesperson for the German embassy here.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) will host the large-scale multi-nation military exercise in southern India in August. Germany will dispatch a significant contingent of military aircraft, including fighter jets, tankers and transport planes, for the exercise.

This will be followed by a visit by a German naval frigate and a combat support ship to Goa in October. This marks the second major naval deployment by Germany to India in recent years.

"We will have a frigate that is coming in October to the shores of Goa and there will also be a combat support ship," Fuchs said.

"This underlines our serious and long-lasting commitment to the Indo-Pacific, and our position as a reliable partner," he added.

Fuchs further highlighted the growing European focus on the Indo-Pacific, with several countries, including Germany, prioritising cooperation with India. These joint military exercises are a tangible outcome of this strategic shift, he said.

The announcement comes on the heels of a recent India-Germany High Defence Committee (HDC) meeting in Berlin, where both sides discussed strengthening their defence partnership.

On Wednesday, the German embassy launched the German-Indian Green and Sustainable Development Partnership (GSDP) logo here.

"We have launched the logo. This partnership is pretty unique. It was launched by Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi and (German) Chancellor (Olaf) Scholz in 2022 at the last Intergovernmental Consultations (IGC) in Berlin," Fuchs said.

The GSDP serves as a comprehensive partnership offering political direction and support for strong connections in climate action and sustainable development goals (SDGs). As part of the initiative, Germany will allocate 10 billion euros in new and supplementary commitments to its development cooperation efforts in India in a decade.

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