By Radhika Singh
France, a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a trusted strategic partner, has expressed “deep solidarity” over the death of 20 Indian soldiers in a face-off with Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) on June 1.
In a letter to her Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh, French Defence Minister Florence Parly conveyed “steadfast and friendly support” to India. “This was a hard blow against the soldiers, their families, and the nation. In these difficult circumstances, I wish to express my steadfast and friendly support, along with that of the French armed forces,” Ms Parly wrote in the letter.
In response to a “special request” by the Indian Air Force to fast-track the deliveries of Rafale fighter jets, France is planning to send six Rafale fighter planes to the country.
French Ambassador to India Emmanuel Lenain has envisaged a closer partnership in education and people-to-people exchanges between India and France. As the world gears up for a new post-pandemic world, France and India could immensely benefit from their close partnership in education and people-to-people exchanges through innovative ways that would foster cooperation and deepen strategic ties, said Mr Lenain said. “At the core of the strategic partnership between India and France lie strong people-to-people ties. As France and India gradually emerge from their lockdowns, enhanced exchanges will pave the way for a new world. Trusted global scientific collaboration is the need of the hour since no country can achieve a breakthrough alone. Our country recognizes that education will play a critical role in shaping a post-pandemic world, and thus reiterates that Indian students and researchers are welcome in France,” Mr Lenain remarked.
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