Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is pictured at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, on November 1, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland. File Photo by Kiara Worth/COP26/UPI | License Photo
May 2 (UPI) -- In his first foreign trip of 2022, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi visited Germany on Monday for the first leg of his three-nation European trip, during which he will also travel to Denmark and France.
The trip, lasting through May 4, will include about two dozen engagements, including bilateral and multilateral meetings with fellow world leaders from seven countries.
"My visit to Europe comes at a time when the region faces many challenges and choices," said Modi in a statement prior to departing India, according to the Indian Express.
"Through my engagements, I intend to strengthen the spirit of cooperation with our European partners, who are important companions in India's quest for peace and prosperity," he said.
India's foreign secretary, Vinay Mohan Kwatra, said on Sunday that Modi aims to strengthen bilateral partnerships and "exchange perspectives" on the ongoing war in Ukraine during the three-day trip.
Modi said in Berlin that recent events have driven world peace into a state of "critical condition."
"We believe that no party will be victorious in this war," he said of the Ukraine conflict initiated by Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to the Times of India.
On Monday, Modi met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, whose country India has shared a strategic partnership with since May 2000.
The world leaders co-chaired the India-Germany Inter-Governmental Consultations, highlighting their countries' relationship and shared perspectives on both regional and global concerns.
Modi announced during his Germany visit that India remains committed to quick progress in free trade agreement negotiations with the European Union. Meanwhile, Scholz said his country is "ready to continue and deepen the close cooperation with India" on issues impacting the globe, the Times of India reported.
The two nations on Monday agreed to work together on agroecology and sustainable management of natural agricultural resources.
Germany plans to provide 300 million euros in loans for the initiatives by 2025.
Upon departing Germany, Modi will meet Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen in Copenhagen, Denmark, while also connecting with leaders of Iceland, Finland, Sweden and Norway on Tuesday at the Second India-Nordic Summit.
The prime minister will then visit French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Wednesday before returning to India.