Sunday, December 12, 2010

Russian missile Venezuela worried US - Wiki Leaks

Russian missile Venezuela worried US - Wiki Leaks
WASHINGTON: The United States tried to stop delivery of Russian anti-aircraft missiles to Venezuela in 2009 amid concerns it could pass them on to Marxist guerrillas in Colombia or Mexican drug gangs, The Washington Post said on Sunday, citing diplomatic cables from WikiLeaks.Venezuela, where President Hugo Chavez heads a strongly anti-American government, received at least 1,800 of the SA- 24shoulder -fired missiles from Russia, the Post said, citing U.N. arms control data.

Secret U.S. cables said Washington was concerned about the acquisition by Caracas of Russian arms, including attack helicopters, Sukhoi fighter jets and 100,000 Kalashnikov rifles, the newspaper reported.

It quoted a U.S. State Department cable on Aug. 10, 2009 to embassies in Europe and South America as saying Russian arms sales to Venezuela totalled "over $5 billion last year and growing." Concern about Spanish plans to sell aircraft and patrol boats to Venezuela were also cited in the cable.

Russia reported to the U.N. Register of Conventional Arms earlier this year the purchase totalled 1,800 missiles, the Post said.

U.S. Air Force General Douglas Fraser said publicly this year Venezuela could be buying as many as 2,400 of the missiles, the newspaper said. A missile expert at the Federation of American Scientists in Washington, Matt Schroeder, told the Post the Russian missiles are among the world's most sophisticated and can bring down aircraft from 19,000 feet (5,790 metres). "It's the largest recorded transfer in the U.N. arms registry database in five years, at least. There's no state in Latin America of greater concern regarding leakage that has purchased so many missiles," Schroeder was quoted as saying, in an apparent reference to reports of Venezuelan arms flowing to Colombian guerrillas.

Indo German trade target 20 billion euros

Prime Minister Dr Singh said there are no bilateral irritants in the excellent Indo-German relations and "we believe sky is the limit for their cooperation". Dr Singh said he has invited Merkel to visit India next year.Prime Minister conveyed to Chancellor Merkel that relaxation of German Export Control Laws will expand trade for mutual benefit.

Dr Singh flew in Berlin from Brussels on Saturday after attending the India-European Union summit for a working visit to Germany at the invitation of Merkel.
Germany is India's largest trading partner in the 27-nation European Union with bilateral trade growing in the recent years to reach 13.4 billion Euros in 2008.
Prime Minister said that both sides discussed the possibility of entering into bilateral cooperation in civil nuclear energy. If this crystallizes, Germany will follow the US, France and some other countries for civil nuclear cooperation with India.

Dr Singh said India deeply valued Germany's consistent support in the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group for the opening of international commerce for New Delhi in the field of civil nuclear energy.Both the leaders said that India and Germany will work hard together to advance UN Security Council reforms for expansion of both permanent and non-permanent seats.Both India and Germany will assume non-permanent seats in the Security Council from 1st January 2011 for a two-year period.

The Prime Minister said that both sides discussed the possibility of entering into bilateral cooperation in civil nuclear energy.The two sides agreed to enhance bilateral trade from the present level of 13 euro billion to 20 billion euros by 2012. On his part Dr Singh said relaxation of German export control laws will bring in a new horizon for expanding bilateral trade.

In a stern message to Pakistan, Germany made it clear that terrorism is not a means to solve political problems and this is "unacceptable". The concerns over terrorism figured during wide-ranging talks Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Saturday.

"It has been made clear to Pakistan that terrorism is not a means to an end to solve political problems. It is unacceptable," Merkel said at a joint press interaction with Dr Singh.Dr. Singh held a summit meeting in Berlin with Chancellor Angela Merkel where major regional and global issues including the situation in Afghanistan, climate change, the state of global economy and the role of G20 in the recovery process came up for discussion. Dr.Singh announced that Germany will be the preferred partner in the field of vocational training and skill development and cooperation in this regard will be scaled up. The two sides also discussed the possibilities of bilateral cooperation in civil nuclear energy. On discussions on climate change, Ms. Merkel appreciated India’s Environment Minister’s role at the Cancun negotiations. Dr. Manmohan Singh said, India will play its part for arriving at a pragmatic and balanced solution within the UN Framework. Both the sides decided to work closely for the reforms of the UN Security Council. India and Germany will be non-permanent members of the Council in 2011 and 12. The Prime Minister promised India’s support to the efforts being made by Germany to ensure financial stability and economic recovery in Eurozone.

Germany will organise a year of Germany in India beginning in September next year. This was announced by Dr. Manmohan Singh in Berlin. He disclosed that India will organize Days of India in Germany during 2012-13. The 60th year of establishing diplomatic relations with Germany will be celebrated next year and Dr Singh extended an invitation to Chancellor Merkel to visit India next year which she accepted.The German Federal Minister of Economics and Technology Rainer Bruederle visited to India from 23rdSeptember – 24thSeptember 2010. His two-day trip, which includes high-level meetings with Indian ministers and business leaders, is expected to lay out the future roadmap for Indo-German economic relations.Accompanied by an 80-member delegation, which includes Members of the German Parliament, a high-ranking business delegation and a press delegation, Minister Bruederle arrives in Delhi on Thursday, 23rd September. On the same day he will attend the 17th session of the Indo-German Joint Commission on Industrial and Economic Cooperation (JEC) hosted by Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Ahead of his visit, Bruederle spoke about the priority areas that will be discussed during the Indo-German Joint Economic Commission consultations. In an interview with the German Information Centre New Delhi (GIC), he said, “As strategic partners, we inevitably have a broad range of common issues on the economic policy front. One especially important topic is the safeguarding of our future energy supply, particularly by using renewable sources of energy.”

Indo-German economic relations at a new high Enlarge image Indo-German economic relations at a new high He also said that vast opportunities can be tapped in the fields of infrastructure and education. Also on the agenda are bilateral investment and trade issues. During German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s last visit to India, the two sides set a bilateral trade target of 20 billion euros, to be achieved by 2012.

Germany is India’s most important trading partner in the European Union. The bilateral trade picked up tremendous momentum in the post-liberalisation era, when India opened its doors for foreign companies. From January to June 2010 Indo-German trade figures touched 7.2 billion euros, setting a robust outlook for the year ahead. The yearly trade figures were recorded at 13.1 billion euros in 2009 and at 13.4 billion euros in 2008.

German and Indian investors are highly optimistic about each other’s economies too. In 2008-09, German companies invested an all-time high of 629 million USD in India. Germany ranks 8th among foreign investors in India, with total investments of 3.5 billion USD since August 1991.

With respect to Indian investments in Germany, Indian firms invested an estimated amount of 1.8 billion USD in 2008 alone. As per a recent Deloitte report, India is the single largest source of FDI projects from emerging countries in Germany.

Speaking to GIC ahead of the visit, Friedolin Strack, the Asia-Pacific Coordinator of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), said, “The challenges of modernising the infrastructure in parallel to urbanisation in India and to the growing demand offers huge opportunities for many German companies. We also see strong investment from India into Germany and that’s clearly a good sign for the strong partnership of our two countries.”

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