PM Modi holds talks with French President Macron as India-France ties get stronger (Ld)


Apulia (Italy), June 14 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday exchanged views on key global and regional issues besides discussing ways to strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries during their meeting on the sidelines of the 50th G7 Summit in Italy’s Apulia.

“Had an excellent meeting with my friend President Emmanuel Macron. This is our fourth meeting in one year, indicating the priority we accord to strong India-French ties. Our talks covered numerous subjects such as defence, security, technology, AI, Blue Economy and more. We also discussed how to encourage innovation and research among the youth. I conveyed my best wishes to him on the hosting of the Paris Olympics, which begins next month,” PM Modi posted on X after the meeting.

The PMO detailed that during their meeting, the two leaders reviewed India-France bilateral relations, focusing on the ‘Horizon 2047’ Roadmap and the Indo-Pacific Roadmap.

Discussions included cooperation in defence, nuclear, space, education, climate action, digital public infrastructure, connectivity and cultural initiatives such as the National Museum partnership and enhancing people-to-people ties.

They agreed to further intensify strategic defence cooperation with increased focus on ‘Make in India’.

“The two leaders discussed ways to further strengthen the partnership, including in the areas of defence, nuclear, space, education, climate action, digital public infrastructure, critical technologies, connectivity, and culture. They also exchanged views on key global and regional issues,” India’s Ministry of External Affairs said after the meeting.

They also agreed to expand cooperation in the realms of AI, critical and emerging technologies, energy and sports, while working closely in the context of the forthcoming AI Summit and United Nations Oceans Conference, both to be hosted in France in 2025.

Exchanging views on key global and regional issues, they emphasised that a strong and trusted Strategic Partnership between India and France is crucial for a stable and prosperous global order and agreed to work closely to make it scale greater heights.

PM Modi thanked President Macron for his warm wishes on assuming office for the third consecutive term and also extended his best wishes to him for the forthcoming Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Calling him a “dear friend”, Macron had congratulated PM Modi last week as the BJP-led NDA formed the government for the third consecutive time following the Lok Sabha elections.

“India has concluded the world’s largest elections! Congratulations Narendra Modi, my dear friend. Together, we will continue strengthening the strategic partnership that unites India and France,” Macron posted on X.

Over the past few years, the India-France partnership has expanded to several new areas under the leadership of both leaders, from the acquisition of Rafale fighter jets to developing helicopter engines together.

Last year, Prime Minister Modi attended the annual Bastille Day Parade in Paris as a ‘Guest of Honour’ on the French President’s invitation as both nations marked the 25th anniversary of the India-France Strategic Partnership.

France also conferred PM Modi with the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour, the country’s highest award.

The Indo-French ties received a major boost earlier this year as Macron was the chief guest for the 75th Republic Day celebrations during his two-day state visit in January.

The French President also visited India during the G-20 Summit held in September last year.



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