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Germany disappointed over India cancelling aircraft tender

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Jan 29, IRNA -- Ahead of the visit of its President Horst Koehler here, Germany Friday voiced disappointment over India's "nasty surprise" of cancelling a tender for multi-role tanker aircraft for the Air Force for which European consortium EADS was a contender.

"It came as a little bit of a nasty surprise for us and very disappointing -- that it was rejected at the political level," German Ambassador Thomas Matussek told reporters here.

India had cancelled a tender to buy six mid-air refuelling aircraft for fighter jets in which the EADS Airbus 330 MRTT was the top contender.

"This rejection was not explained to us in detail. It appears that quality, performance of the system, state of the technology, reliability -- just to name a few -- were not exactly the criteria. The selection was done only on the label price as it stands," Matussek said.

His remarks come ahead of Koehler's week-long visit to India beginning Monday during which the two countries are expected to further enhance and deepen their strategic partnership.

"The President wants to give a signal that we want to further enhance and deepen our strategic partnership with India," the envoy said.

Koehler will meet President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other leaders here on Tuesday and meet business leaders in Mumbai.

Matussek said that India and Germany were discussing four pacts, including an Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in security and anti-terror measures, but none of them would be ready for signing during the visit.

"All these agreements are a 'work in progress'," he said.

Apparently keen on stepping up defence cooperation, Matussek pointed out that Germany does not insist on ending user monitoring procedures, including on-the-spot inspection after weapon system and critical equipment has been sold to India.

"Exports from Germany related to defence and security require an End User Certificate which is the usual thing that exporting nations require to submit.

"But here comes the difference, we do not insist on monitoring procedures including on-the-spot inspection after weapon system and critical equipment has been sold to your country," he said.

The main focus of the visit of Koehler, a former head of the International Monetary Fund, would be on economy and finances, especially on global governance and global finance system.

The theme of the visit would be "to show how Germany and India can work together to develop the uniform set of rules for co-operative global governance in the 21st century, while ensuring that cultural diversity is preserved in the process", Matussek said.

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End News / IRNA / News Code 926243



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