nsucurrent.com March 17, 2018

As India and France step up ties, a message for world powers

11 March 2018, 01:22 | Colleen Roy

PM Modi, Macron sign 14 pacts: Full text of India-France joint statement

India France ink 14 pacts to bolster partnership in areas of security nuclear energy

After a 90-minute long meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron and delegation-level talks between the two sides, 14 agreements have been signed between two countries.

French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged Electricite de France SA and India's monopoly atomic energy producer, Nuclear Power Corp. of India Ltd, to accelerate discussions on a contract and start work at the site in Jaitapur, in Maharashtra state, by December.

Both President Macron and Prime Minister Modi expressed their deep satisfaction with the swift implementation and operationalization of the bilateral White Shipping Agreement signed in January 2017. "India has been France's first ally in the region".

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.

"India and France have robust cooperation in fields of defence and security". He was given a ceremonial welcome on Saturday morning.

The President said that India commends France's efforts in the global fight against climate change.

He also laid importance on the strategic partnership between the two countries, which has crossed 20 years old. Macron will also visit Agra, and have a town hall interaction with students in New Delhi. Even so the slew of agreements signed and the vision statement indicate that the strategic partnership with France, India's first in 1998, remains a competitor for influence. For France, India is our priority and has always been.

The visiting leader will also meet President Ram Nath Kovind and Minister of External Affairs (MEA) Sushma Swaraj will call on him.

Modi and President Macron will co-chair the founding conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), on Sunday. "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.

Macron, who arrived in India on Friday night on a four-day visit was received at the airport on Friday night by PM Modi, in a special gesture.

The pacts included reciprocal logistic support between the armed forces of the two countries and another on protection of classified or protected information, an agreement that comes in the backdrop of the Indian government refusing to divulge details of the multi-billion dollar Indo-French Rafale fighter jet deal. India and France have pledged to achieve reduction in emissions as committed in Paris.

Prime Minister Modi had visited France in June a year ago.

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