Paris [France], July 13 (ANI): Stressing that India-France partnership aims to advance a free, open, inclusive, secure and stable Indo Pacific region, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the two nations also aim to help other countries in the area.
The PM said this to the French newspaper ‘Les Echos’ ahead of his two-day official visit to France that spans from July 13-14.
On being asked about the India-France partnership in the Indo-Pacific, Prime Minister Modi said it is “influencing the course of the Indo Pacific region” as the two nations are the major resident powers in the Indian Ocean region.
“Our partnership aims to advance a free, open, inclusive, secure and stable Indo Pacific region, working together and with others in the region who share our vision. There is a strong defence and security component that extends from seabed to space. It also seeks to help other countries in the region and strengthen the regional institutions for security cooperation and norm setting,” he told the French daily as per the English translation of the interview.
Prime Minister Modi further said that India and France are working together not just to strengthen India’s defence industrial base and the joint operational capabilities, but also to collaborate on supporting the security needs of other countries.
“It involves the full range of economic, connectivity, human development and sustainability initiatives. These will draw other countries into shared endeavours of prosperity and peace. This partnership opens great possibilities for regional cooperation. Further, beyond the Indian Ocean Region, we will increasingly coordinate and cooperate in the Pacific Region, as well. Our partnership will also include the EU, which has its own Indo Pacific strategy. With EU, we already have an EU-India Connectivity Partnership,” PM Modi added.
Expressing gratitude to French President Emanuel Macron for his invitation, PM Modi said that his thinking matches that of New Delhi’s and as a result the partnership between India and France is deepening in areas like economic, social, cultural and people to people contacts.
“Our partnership is deepening in economic, social, cultural and people to people contacts between the two countries. Our trade has nearly doubled since 2014. Just this year, two Indian air carriers have placed order for more than 750 aircraft on Airbus. Both countries are working more closely to realize the vision of using digital public infrastructure for public good. There is strong collaboration in clean energy, including solar, wind and clean hydrogen,” PM Modi said.
He added that French President Macron has also taken many initiatives to deepen the India-France ties.
“Last year, India was the country of the year in Paris Book Fair, Cannes Film Festival, VivaTech, Paris Infra Week and International Seatech Week in France in 2022. Defence cooperation has progressed rapidly. We have started a genuine industrial partnership, including on co-design and co-development, not just for ourselves but also for other countries,” he said.
Prime Minister Modi highlighted that India and France cooperate and coordinate much more closely in international forums, as the two nations together launched the International Solar Alliance, and are working together on initiatives on biodiversity, elimination of single use plastic, disaster resilient infrastructure and conserving ocean resources.
“Our cooperation has become especially strong in the United Nations, whether it is in reforming the UN institutions, fighting climate change or combating terrorism. Most recently, we worked closely on President Macron’s New Global Financing Pact Summit. We are both leaders in the initiative on No Money for Terror Financing,” he said.
PM Modi added, “I feel that President Macron’s thinking really matches ours. And so we are naturally compatible to work together. And for this, I have the greatest gratitude towards him. Our partnership is vital for peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. We see France as one of our foremost global partners”.
Earlier today, PM Modi embarked on the visit to France at the invitation of President Marcon.
He will be the Guest of Honour at the Bastille Day Parade of France on July 14, where the tri-services of the Indian armed forces contingent will be participating. Furthermore, three Rafales will also participate in the parade.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the India–France Strategic Partnership and Prime Minister’s visit will provide an opportunity to chart the course of the partnership for the future across diverse sectors such as strategic, cultural, scientific, academic and economic cooperation.
During his France visit from July 13-14, PM Modi will hold formal talks with President Emmanuel Macron. Macron will host a State Banquet as well as a private dinner in honour of the Prime Minister.
During his visit, PM Modi will also meet the Indian diaspora and leading CEOs from both nations.(ANI)
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