France best partner for India: Macron

Mar 11, 2018, 01:24
France best partner for India: Macron

Noting that defence cooperation between the two countries now has a "new significance", Macron talked about the Scorpene submarine project for the Indian Navy and the fighter jet deal for the Air Force. French and Indian companies signed contracts worth 13 billion euros ($16 billion) on the first day of President Emmanuel Macron's visit to India, the French presidency said in a statement. A "Joint Strategic Vision of India-France Cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region" was also agreed upon by both countries in order to maintain the safety of global sea lanes for unimpeded commerce and communications in accordance with the worldwide law, for countering maritime terrorism and piracy, for building maritime domain awareness, for capacity building and for greater coordination in regional/international fora in the region.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed President Macron by receiving him at the airport and greeted him with a hug.

"France has particularly supported India's perspective on terror in South Asia".

India and France today made a decision to step up cooperation in the space sector by exploring ways to use satellites for maritime surveillance and collaborating on inter-planetary missions.

He also pointed out the bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the field of defense, security, space, and high technology. He was given a ceremonial welcome at the RashtraPati Bhawan on Saturday morning. He also invited the researchers to visit France. Macron will also take part in a Town Hall and have an interactive session, in which almost 300 students from different institutions are expected to participate.

Giving a boost to their strategic partnership, India and France on Saturday vowed to strengthen defence and energy ties with each other.

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Both the leaders also talked about cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.

France is one of the strong votaries for India's inclusion in the Nuclear Suppliers Group, a crucial export control regime of which New Delhi is not a member.

French President Macron and Prime Minister Modi will also visit Varanasi, where a group of local youths and some French nationals have formed a club to work towards improving man-to-man contact between the people of the two countries.

Sopoaga and Salwai arrived in Delhi earlier in the day to take part in the founding conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA). "They exchanged views on enhancing strategic partnership in trade and investment, defence and security, culture, education and people-to-people ties", tweeted foreign ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.

Experts at ISRO say they would need anything between Rs 20,000 to Rs 25,000 crore to put an "Indian in space, on an Indian rocket from Indian soil" and they could make that happen within a 7-10 year period after the Indian space agency gets a go ahead from the government.

Prime Minister Modi had visited France in June past year.