The India-France strategic and security partnership is set to deepen in days to come as the leaders of the two countries seek to expand counter-terror cooperation and strengthen coordination in the Indo-Pacific.
In a telephonic conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron on December 7, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended full support to France‘s fight against terror following renewed attacks across the European nation. Mr Modi expressed condolences for the victims of the recent terror attacks in France, and “reiterated India’s full support to France in the fight against terrorism, extremism, and radicalism”, Prime Minister’s Office said in a release.
The two leaders also discussed bilateral, regional, and global issues of mutual interest, including improving the affordability and accessibility of COVID-19 vaccines, post-Covid economic recovery, cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, maritime security, defense cooperation, digital economy, and cybersecurity, strengthening multilateralism, and climate change and biodiversity.
“The leaders expressed satisfaction at the depth and strength that the India-France Strategic Partnership has acquired in recent years and agreed to continue working closely together in the post-COVID era,” the statement said.
PM Modi also invited President Macron to India after the normalization of the Covid situation.
In October, the Indian government had deplored the personal attacks on President Macron over his actions terrorist the cells in the country following a series of attacks in public places. A teacher was killed and several others were seriously injured in a series of terrorist attacks in France in October that shocked the world.
“We strongly deplore the personal attacks in unacceptable language on President Emmanuel Macron in violation of the most basic standards of international discourse. We offer our condolences to his family and the people of France. We also condemn the brutal terrorist attack that took the life of a French teacher. There is no justification for terrorism for any reason or under any circumstance,” the government said in a statement on October 28.
In another phone conversation in March, PM Modi had expressed his condolences to President Macron over the loss of lives in the COVID-19 pandemic. The leaders had discussed the domestic and international aspects of the crisis and underlined the importance of global collaboration and solidarity to deal with the situation. They had also agreed to share information on anti-Covid measures, including research on treatment and vaccines, between the experts of the two countries. President Macron agreed with PM Modi’s view that the Covid pandemic is a turning point in history, and offers an opportunity to forge a new “human-centric globalization”.
India and France had entered into a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 1998 after years of growing collaborations and convergence of views on various regional and international issues, such as terrorism and trade and commerce. The two sides also share a close defense partnership, which has expanded to various sensitive military technologies, including manufacturing and procurement. India also had recently signed a multi-billion dollar contract to purchase 36 advanced Rafale fighter jets from France as part of their growing defense partnership.
(Sanjeeb Baruah contributed inputs for the article)
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