France best partner for India: Macron

Mar 12, 2018, 05:03
France best partner for India: Macron

The pact was signed on Saturday and came out with the Joint Vision for Space Cooperation after a meeting between Prime Minister Modi and French President Macron. "We welcome the commitment of France for Make in India in the Defence sector", the PM said.

Western diplomats will point out that the United States alliance with France and its Major Defence Partnership with India are far deeper, while Russian diplomats will point to their older military ties with India and logistical agreements that date back much further.

Several memoranda of understanding were also signed between French and Indian firms in the areas of renewable energy, developing potable water resources, electric vehicles, railways and airports infrastructure. Macron will leave for France in the evening.

French rail equipment giant Alstom also announced three contracts worth EUR75 millionto supply three Indian companies running metro train services in Mumbai, Jaipur and Chennai.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will receive French President Emmanuel Macron in Varanasi on Monday during latter's visit to Uttar Pradesh.

To counter China's growing influence in the Indian Ocean, India and France on Saturday signed 14 agreements including a key security accord in the region.

In particular, Mr. Macron's statement that France wants India as its "first strategic partner here (region), and we want to be India's first strategic partner in Europe, and even the western world", will be read closely.

He also described France as one of India's most trusted defence partners, adding that "from land to sky there is no such topic where we are not working together with each other".

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Later, Macron in his media statement said that the Defence cooperation between the two countries now has a new significance with the new agreement. The two leaders will co-chair the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Summit on Sunday.

"A strong part of our security and the world's stability is at stake in the Indian Ocean", Macron said.

The pacts signed 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.

Macron and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addressing a news conference in New Delhi after signing the agreements, also committed to strengthening their partnership on defence and security.

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The couple was seen giving tight hugs to each other and they just went all smiles on their faces all the time. Anushka Sharma has made a film like what Ram Gopal Varma and Vikram Bhatt used to make in this genre.

The agreement on nuclear cooperation prescribes a way forward for the implementation of the Jaitapur nuclear power project which has been hanging fire for nearly a decade now.

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