Modi in Brasilia
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurating the New Chancery Building of Indian Embassy at Brasilia, in Brazil, on Wednesday 16 July, 2014.PIB

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, 17 July, had a fruitful telephonic conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, during his stopover at Frankfurt.

Modi was returning home after the BRICS Summit in Brasilia, when the flight had to stop at Frankfurt due to a technical snag. He is said to have called Merkel from hotel Steinberger, in Hessen state of Germany, and conveyed his good wishes to her on her 60th birthday.

Modi congratulated the German Chancellor on the splendid victory of the German football team. The Indian PM could not meet Merkel when he made an overnight stopover in Berlin, because she is said to have gone to Rio de Janeiro to share her country's victory in the FIFA World Cup 2014.

The Prime Minister conveyed that India regards Germany as a very important partner and that his Government will work closely with the German side to strengthen and deepen the bilateral strategic partnership.

Modi also invited the German Chancellor to visit India in 2015, for the third meeting of the India Germany Consultations. In turn, Merkel has invited India to be a partner country at the Hanover trade fair in 2015

Merkel accepted Modi's invitation and the two leaders also briefly discussed areas of bilateral cooperation including skill developments.

The Indian PM appeared to be satisfied with the conversation and took to Twitter to talk about it.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, while meeting with South African President Jacob Zuma on the margins of the BRICS summit in Brazilia, the Indian Prime Minister noted that Mahatma Gandhi's life had created a special link between the two countries and invited South Africa to join the centenary celebration of Mahatma Gandhi's return to India in January 2015. He also paid tribute to President Nelson Mandela.

On his part, Zuma sought Modi's help in strengthening Small and Medium Scale Industries in South Africa, for which he had recently created a new Ministry. Modi lauded Zuma's initiative and offered full support.

Modi also had a chance to interact with eleven South American leaders at the meeting between BRICS and South America, hosted by Brazilian President Rousseff.

South American leaders expressed appreciation for Prime Minister's strong commitment to deepen India's ties with South America, which he described as a land of vast opportunity for India and a pole for global economic growth. They expressed a keen desire to develop closer relations with India and invited him to pay a bilateral visit to South America.