India and Germany will strengthen their bilateral and multilateral cooperation to combat terrorism and extremism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday after holding talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on enhancing ties in strategic areas, including defence, artificial intelligence and energy security.

This is Merkel’s fourth visit to India, and the fifth meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the last 15 months. The two leaders, who co-chaired the fifth Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC), also called on nations to ensure that their territory is not used for terror activities against other countries, in a veiled message to Pakistan.

Combating Terror

“We will strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation to deal with dangers such as terrorism and extremism,” PM Modi said in a statement at a joint media event with Merkel.

A joint statement, issued after PM Modi and Angela Merkel talks, emphasised on strengthening counter-terrorism cooperation and called for a stronger international partnership in combating the global scourge. It also called upon all countries to work towards rooting out terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupting terrorist networks and financing channels and halting cross border movement of terrorists.

They emphasised the need for stronger international partnership in countering terrorism and preventing violent extremism, including through increased sharing of information and intelligence and in full compliance with the rule of law and international law, including human rights law, the statement said.

Talking about Kashmir, Angela Merkel said, “The situation for the people there is currently not sustainable and must improve.” She said that he would raise the matter with PM Modi later on Friday evening, adding that while she was aware of India’s position regarding the province, parts of which are claimed by neighbouring Pakistan, she wanted to hear PM Modi’s plans for restoring calm to the region