Who is the Indian President of 2018

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First of all, Mr President, I would like to thank you very much for your hospitality. What unites us is that we were both new to the presidency of our countries last year. I am all the more pleased to get to know you personally on this state visit. I see your generous invitation to this state banquet in the Rashtrapati Bhavan as a sign of the good relations between our two countries. Thank you very much for that.

I would like to thank you too, dear Prime Minister. I feel it is a great honor that you have given us an opportunity today, by visiting the wonderful gardens of the Sunder Nursery, to follow up on our conversation in the palace gardens of Bellevue in Berlin last year. A beautiful tradition seems to be developing there.

I have already been to India a few times as Foreign Minister and I am all the more delighted that I have been able to gather so many new impressions and meet so many interesting personalities in Varanasi and Delhi over the past few days. But I also see many familiar faces and like to interpret this as a sign of the solidarity between our two countries. You can already hear it. I like being here in India - in my German eyes every visit here is always a remarkable experience.

I am neither the first nor the only German who is fascinated by India. Ever since Max Müller's pioneering research, there has been a great deal of curiosity about your country and about Indian civilization in Germany. It extends to the present, you can literally read it on the streets of our cities and in some parts of our everyday culture. My impression is that there is also a mutual interest when I look at the many Indian students and researchers who like to come to German universities in large numbers. I see all of this as a valuable basis for relations between our countries - on which we can and should build.

In any case, I have the greatest respect for what has been achieved in India over the past few decades. The people here have been struggling for centuries to deal with an immense cultural and religious diversity with tolerance and mutual respect. Despite all its setbacks, India has a treasure trove that other countries will envy you. So it stands to reason that one of the goals of my visit is also to better understand this experience.

However, I also have great respect for the challenges that lie ahead of you. Every year new generations of young people in India demand a perspective on participation and employment. We can only guess how big this task is. In Germany, too, economic success and social stability are based to a large extent on the fact that people have a fair chance to develop and develop their talents. Of course, maintaining this state is far from easy. We cannot afford to stand still in either country - and in the search for new dynamism the German focus is of course also on India. We recognize the great abundance of talent as a great opportunity, and we see many opportunities for investment as well as scientific and cultural collaboration. I am also here to make these opportunities visible and to promote them.

But in a world in which the principle of "everyone against everyone" is being used in many places, we also rely on India as a partner who advocates an international order based on mutual respect and agreed rules. We are becoming increasingly clear about what India and Germany can do together for such an order - for example for the security and freedom of sea routes or for the future of international trade. In both areas we, as large trading nations, cannot be interested in the fact that existing systems of order and international law are undermined.

India and Germany have a lot to offer each other. Together we can further develop technologies, develop new development opportunities and make progress together in environmental protection. Through bilateral cooperation, we can make contributions to solving global questions, for example in the area of ​​climate protection - especially when these questions are currently being ignored by others. And we can work together for an open, rule-based international order. My state visit is an expression of our desire for a new dynamic in our relationships. I am confident that the enormous potential of our cooperation in culture, business and on an international level will bear fruit in the next few years.

Thank you for your friendly welcome and for your attention.