India-France discuss defense, space and nuclear energy
New Delhi, Sep 10 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a bilateral meeting over lunch with the President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron during the G-20 Leaders’ Summit in New Delhi.
The two leaders discussed, assessed and reviewed the progress in bilateral relations since their last meeting in July, 2023 in Paris. They also exchanged views on important international and regional developments.
The External Affair Ministry said that the President Macron’s visit to India comes after the historic visit of Prime Minister Modi to Paris on July 13-14 as the Guest of Honour on the occasion of French National Day on 14 July 2023 commemorating the 25th anniversary of the India-France strategic partnership.
Acknowledging the strength of India France partnership, founded in deep trust, shared values, belief in sovereignty and strategic autonomy, a resolute commitment to international law and principles enshrined in the UN Charter, an abiding faith in multilateralism and a mutual pursuit of a stable multi-polar world, both leaders emphasised the need to expand their collaboration to address regional and global challenges.
They reiterated their unwavering commitment to collectively serve as a force of good, carrying the message of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ that is ‘one earth, one family, one future’, during tumultuous times reshaping the global order, the External Affair Ministry added.
“With the ‘Horizon 2047’ Roadmap, the Indo-Pacific Roadmap and other outcomes during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit serving as recent points of reference, the two leaders discussed overall progress and next steps on the implementation of the new and ambitious goals for cooperation in areas of defense, space, nuclear energy, digital public infrastructure, critical technology, climate change, education, and people-to-people contacts. They also carried forward their discussions on India-France partnership in the Indo Pacific region and Africa, including in infrastructure, connectivity, energy, biodiversity, sustainability and industrial projects. They underlined their role of providers of solutions for the Indo-Pacific through their cooperation in the framework of the International Solar Alliance, launched by India and France, and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.”
President Macron congratulated Prime Minister Modi on India’s success of Mission Chandrayaan 3.
The two leaders recalled six decades of India-France Space cooperation and reviewed the progress since holding of the first Strategic Space Dialogue in June 2023.
They acknowledged the strong India-France civil nuclear ties, good progress in the discussion for the Jaitapur nuclear plant project and welcomed the continuing engagement of both sides to expand bilateral cooperation to establish a partnership for co-developing SMR and AMR technologies as well as the forthcoming signature of a dedicated declaration of intent.
France reiterated its steadfast and unwavering support for India’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the ministry of external affair added.
According to the joint statement, both leaders reiterated their commitment to strengthen the defence cooperation through partnership in design, development, testing and manufacture of advanced defence technologies and platforms, and expand production in India, including for third countries in Indo-Pacific and beyond. In this context, they also called for early finalisation of the Defence Industrial Roadmap.
Laying emphasis on areas such as digital, science, technological innovation, education, culture, health and environment cooperation, both leaders called for strengthening of institutional linkages in these domains, on the model of the Indo-French Campus for the Indo-Pacific.
In this context, they also reaffirmed commitment to expand cultural exchanges and work together in development of museums, the joint statement read.
Prime Minister Modi thanked President Macron for France’s continued support to India’s Presidency of G-20, which had advanced inclusiveness, unity and cohesion in international efforts to address global challenges and build a more stable global order.
India and France also welcomed African Union’s membership to the G-20 and look to work with AU, for the progress, prosperity and development of Africa, the official added.