Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting French President  Emmanuel Macron, at Elysee Palace, in Paris on May 4, 2022.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting French President Emmanuel Macron, at Elysee Palace, in Paris on May 4, 2022.

Modi, Macron discuss ways of making India-France Strategic Partnership a force for global good

Paris, May 5, 2022

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met French President Emmanuel Macron here on Wednesday and discussed with him ways to work together to make the India-France Strategic Partnership a force for global good.

During an official visit to France on his way back home from the 2nd India-Nordic Summit in Copenhagen, Modi and Macron met first one-on-one and later held delegation-level talks.

"The two leaders held discussions on the entire range of bilateral issues, including cooperation in defence, space, blue economy, civil nuclear and people-to-people ties," a press release from the Prime Minister's Office said.

The two leaders also took stock of the regional and global security outlook.

"Prime Minister’s visit to France displayed the strong friendship and goodwill not only between the two countries but also between the two leaders," the release said.

Modi invited Macron to visit India at the earliest opportunity, the release added.

During the meeting, France reiterated its strong condemnation of the "unlawful and unprovoked aggression" against Ukraine by Russian forces.

Both countries expressed serious concern at the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. They unequivocally condemned civilian deaths in Ukraine and called for an immediate cessation of hostilities to bring parties together to promote dialogue and diplomacy to find an immediate end to the suffering of the people.

Both countries underlined the need to respect UN Charter, international law and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states.

The two leaders discussed the regional and global implications of the conflict in Ukraine and agreed to intensify coordination on the issue.

"India and France express deep concern about the current aggravation of global food security and nutrition, already impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, and especially in developing countries They are committed to enabling a coordinated, multilateral response to address the risk of aggravated food crisis because of the conflict in Ukraine, including through initiatives such as the Food and Agriculture Resilience Mission (FARM), which aims at ensuring well-functioning markets, solidarity and long-term resilience," a joint statement issued by the two sides after the talks said.

On Afghanistan, India and France expressed serious concern on the humanitarian situation and violation of human rights and reiterated strong support for a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan, emphasizing respect for its sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity and non-interference in its internal affairs. They called for an inclusive and representative government, and respect for the rights of women, children and minorities. They also reaffirmed the UNSC Resolution 2593 (2021) and emphasized on zero tolerance for the use of Afghan territory for spreading terrorism in other parts of the world, and agreed to work together in this regard, including at the UN Security Council.

"In a post-pandemic word, facing global geopolitical challenges, India and France reaffirmed their commitment to prepare for the future together by further deepening their cooperation, expanding it in new domains to meet emerging challenges and broadening their international partnership," the statement said.

The statement noted that India and France have built one of the premier strategic partnerships for advancing peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. They share a vision of a free, open and rules-based Indo-Pacific region, based on commitment international law, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, freedom of navigation and a region free from coercion, tensions and conflicts.

"Indo-France Indo-Pacific partnership encompasses defence and security, trade, investment, connectivity, health and sustainability. Besides bilateral cooperation, India and France will continue to develop new partnerships in various formats with like-minded countries in the region and within regional organisations. The first Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum held in Paris in February 2022 during the French presidency of the Council of the EU launched an ambitious agenda at the EU level based on the EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo Pacific.

"India and France reaffirmed their commitment to deepen India-EU Strategic Partnership and look forward to closely work together in the implementation of the India-EU Connectivity Partnership and the decisions made at the India-EU Leaders’ Meeting in Porto in May 2021. They welcomed the recent launch of the India-EU Trade and Technology Council that will foster high level coordination on strategic aspects of trade, technology and security as well as the restart of negotiations on India-EU Agreements on Trade, Investment and Geographical Indicators," it said.

On strategic cooperation, the two sides welcomed the ongoing intense cooperation across all defence domains.

"Joint exercises (Shakti, Varuna, Pegase, Desert Knight, Garuda) illustrate efforts towards better integration and interoperability wherever possible. Meanwhile, maritime cooperation between India and France has reached new levels of trust and will continue through exercises, exchanges and joint endeavours throughout the Indian Ocean.

"India and France underscored that the long-standing armament cooperation is testimony to the mutual trust between the two sides. The six Scorpene submarines built at MDL in Mumbai illustrates the level of transfer of technology from France to India, in line with the 'Make in India' initiative. As seen in the timely delivery of the Rafale despite the pandemic, the two sides enjoy synergy in the field of defence. Taking forward this momentum, and based on their mutual trust, both sides agreed to find creative ways for France’s deeper involvement in the 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' (Self-reliant India) efforts in advanced defence technology, manufacturing and exports, including through encouraging increased industry to industry partnerships," it said.

The two sides agreed on setting up a bilateral strategic dialogue on space issues. It will bring together experts from space and defence agencies, administration and specialised ecosystem to discuss security and economic challenges in outer space, the norms and principles applicable to space as well as unveil new areas of cooperation. The two sides agreed to hold the first dialogue this year at the earliest.

"In an increasingly digitalised world, India and France have strengthened cooperation between their cyber security agencies. Based on convergent outlook, they agree to join forces in promoting cyber norms and principles in order to counter cyber threats and agree to upgrade their bilateral cyber dialogue with a view to contributing to a peaceful, secure and open cyberspace.

"The two sides have launched a number of initiatives to connect their Start-up ecosystems and welcome recent public-private engagement to work together, based on their respective successes, on building standards and protocols for free, inclusive, innovative and open public digital infrastructure and solutions to transform the lives of the people and for the larger global good. India will be the first Country of the Year at this year’s edition of Vivatech, Europe’s largest digital fair, in Paris," the statement said.

The two countries reiterated their willingness to deepen their cooperation on exascale technology, based upon the fruitful collaboration between C-DAC and ATOS, which includes making supercomputers in India. The two sides also agree to work together for more secure and sovereign 5G/6G telecom systems.

Both sides reaffirmed the commitment to the success of the strategic Jaitapur EPR project for access to reliable, affordable and low carbon energy, and welcome the progress achieved over the last months. They will increase the contacts in the coming months to achieve new progress.

The statement strongly condemned all forms of terrorism including use of terrorist proxies and cross-border terrorism. The two sides reiterated their resolve to closely work together in the common fight against global terrorism including through combating the financing of terrorism, countering radicalization and violent extremism, preventing misuse of the internet for terrorist or violent extremist purpose, acting against internationally designated entities and individuals. Both sides expressed their willingness to coordinate actively in the run up to the third edition of the "No Money for Terror” international conference to be hosted by India in 2022.


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