Macron’s visit marks new phase in Indo-France strategic partnership

“France wants India as its first strategic partner in Asia, and it wants to be India’s first strategic partner in Europe, and even the western world,” said French President Macron as the two countries inked 14 crucial agreements in New Delhi, signalling a “big leap” in the bilateral relations. Macron’s was an unambiguous gesture reflecting the deepening of strategic ties between the two countries. The comprehensive nature of the agreements covering defence, economic, nuclear energy and energy security, among others, was an indication of growing convergence between the two countries in the times of dispersed and diverse security threats with global balance of power under transition. Though India and France have maintained cordial relations since the cold war times, the potential of their strategic partnership appeared to have remained largely underutilised. The recent visit by the French President to New Delhi may well be considered as a major breakthrough in strategic ties between the two countries as they are responding to their convergence of interests like never before.

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India-Jordan ties turn strategic with defence pact

Imparting a new energy to New Delhi’s Look West policy, India and Jordan have taken their security cooperation to a new level by signing a defence framework agreement and inked a clutch of agreements in diverse areas.As countries that face the common threat of terrorism and extremism, India and Jordan have also decided to bolster their cooperation in counter-terrorism and deradicalization.
The talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Jordanian King Abdullah II in New Delhi on March 1 have deepened strategic dimension of the burgeoning India-Jordan ties. The major takeaway was the signing of a defence framework agreement that covers areas like training, defence industry, counter-terrorism, military studies, cyber security, military medical services and peace-keeping.

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AIIB $1.5 billion loan boosts India’s infrastructure plan

In a move that could help bridge India’s infrastructural gap, the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved $1.5 billion in loans to India for a host of infrastructure-based projects in 2018. While the loan will be utilized for the development of energy, roads and urban centres, there will be a special focus will be on enhancing India’s renewable energy capacity.
With 7.74 per cent equity share in the multilateral development bank, India is only second to China which holds 29.9 per cent. Operating from 2016, the 84-member bank, which was initiated by China, is focussed on supporting infrastructural development across the Asia-Pacific region.

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