PM Modi holds talks with French President Macron, discusses defence cooperation

Paris [France]:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday (local time) held talks with the newly re-elected French President Emmanuel Macron, discussing a range of bilateral issues including defence, space, civil nuclear cooperation and people-to-people linkages, as well as regional and global issues.

The two leaders held talks at Elysee Palace, the official residence of the President of France, in Paris.
Addressing a press briefing, shortly before the departure of PM Modi back to India, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said that the two leaders who are also good friends held “extensive discussions on a range of issues of bilateral, regional and global importance.”

“The two leaders held wide-ranging discussions on all the key areas of bilateral engagement, including in defence, space, civil nuclear cooperation and people-to-people linkages. They also discussed regional and global issues, including developments in Europe and the Indo-pacific,” the Foreign Secretary informed.

Kwatra also informed that this was the first visit of PM Modi to France since August 2019.

“The two leaders have stayed in regular touch through calls and letters. They also met on the sidelines of the G20 summits last year. India and France are strong strategic partners. The two leaders are also good friends,” Kwatra said.

Talking about the re-election of the French President, Kwatra said that the renewed mandate of President Macron will allow the two countries to build on the existing strength and success of the strategic partnership.

“President Macron’s renewed mandate and the conversations between Prime Minister Modi and the President today allow us to build on existing strength and success of India-France strategic partnership and also chart out the blueprint for its next phase,” Kwatra said.

The Foreign Secretary also emphasised that “India and France see each other as key partners in the Indo-pacific.”

On the sidelines, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also met his French counterpart, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian during PM Modi’s visit.

Following the talks, the French President also hosted a dinner for the Indian Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in France on Wednesday on the final leg of his three-day Europe visit and was warmly welcomed by members of the Indian diaspora in Paris.

Members of the Indian community were present outside the hotel where PM Modi reached after his arrival in Paris. Children were present in sizeable numbers and many of them sought autographs from the Prime Minister. People reciprocated the greetings of the people.

PM Modi said in a tweet after his arrival in Paris that France was one of India’s strongest partners.

“Landed in Paris. France is one of India’s strongest partners, with our nations cooperating in diverse areas,” he said.

PM Modi reached Paris on the final day of his three-day Europe visit, after his engagements in Germany and Denmark. (ANI)

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