Modi dials Macron  

Modi and Macron reviewed ongoing bilateral initiatives, including defence collaboration projects and cooperation in civil nuclear energy…reports Asian Lite News

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday reviewed ongoing bilateral initiatives, including defence collaboration projects and cooperation in civil nuclear energy.

During their telephonic conversation, they also discussed important geopolitical challenges, including those related to global food security, a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office said.

India and France have been expressing concern at the risk to the global food security and nutrition in light of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

“Spoke to my friend President @EmmanuelMacron today. Conveyed India’s solidarity with France in dealing with the devastating wildfires,” PM Modi tweeted.

“We discussed ongoing bilateral cooperation under the India-France Strategic Partnership, and other issues of global and regional significance,” he said.

“President @EmmanuelMacron and I also agreed to cooperate closely in responding to global challenges of food and energy security,” he added.

The PMO statement also said the leaders reviewed ongoing bilateral initiatives, including defence cooperation projects and cooperation in civil nuclear energy. The two 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 to expand the relationship to new areas of cooperation, the statement said.

On Monday, PM Modi had said he was touched by Macron’s greetings on India’s Independence Day. India truly cherishes its close relations with France, and their bilateral partnership is for global good, he had said.

Last week, a French Air and Space Force contingent, including three Rafale jets, made a strategically crucial stopover at the IAF’s Sulur base in Tamil Nadu as part of a mega military operation it carried out in the Pacific Ocean.

The support provided by the Indian Air Force to the French force reflected the implementation of the reciprocal logistics support agreement signed by France and India in 2018 to boost military cooperation.

A French readout said that the cooperation with the Indian Air Force demonstrated a high level of mutual trust and interoperability between the two sides.

It said the French contingent was hosted for a technical stopover at Air Force Station Sulur on August 10 and 11 during a long-distance deployment from metropolitan France to the Pacific Ocean.

The French Air and Space Force is carrying out a major long-range mission in the Indo-Pacific, code-named Pegase 22, from August 10 to September 18.

“The first stage of this mission aims to demonstrate France’s capacity for long-distance air power projection by deploying an Air Force contingent from metropolitan France to the French territory of New Caledonia in the Pacific Ocean in less than 72 hours (10th-12th August),” the statement said.

“To achieve this unprecedented 16,600-km deployment, the Air Force contingent made a technical stopover in India, at Air Force Station Sulur,” it said.

The contingent comprises three Rafale jets and support aircraft.

“Landing at Air Force Station Sulur on August 10th evening, it flew out in the early hours of 11th August after refuelling, en route to New Caledonia,” the readout noted.

“The operation demonstrated a high level of mutual trust and interoperability between the French and Indian Air Forces, which has been further boosted by the fact that both Air Forces now fly Rafale jets,” it said.

India, France, UAE discuss trilateral cooperation

Last month, India, France, and the UAE had held a meeting to discuss trilateral cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs statement, the three sides exchanged perspectives on the Indo-Pacific region and explored the potential areas of trilateral cooperation.

These were identified as maritime security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR), ‘Blue’ economy, regional connectivity, cooperation in multilateral fora, energy and food security, innovation and startups, supply chain resilience, and cultural and people-to-people cooperation.

The three sides also discussed the next steps to be taken for furthering trilateral cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.

The Indian side was led by MEA’s Joint Secretary, Europe West, Sandeep Chakravorty, and Joint Secretary, Gulf, Vipul, the French side was led by its Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs’ Director, Asia and Oceania, Bertrand Lortholary and Deputy Director, Middle East and North Africa, Emmanuel Suquet and the UAE delegation by its Foreign Ministry’s Economic and Trade Affairs Department Deputy Director Ahmed Burhaima.

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