India, France signs 14 agreements

Modi and Macron will hold a bilateral summit on Saturday, following which a number of agreements across multiple sectors are expected to be signed.
India France
India France

New Delhi, March 10: India and France signed 14 agreements on Saturday in Hyderabad House of New Delhi.

India and France on Saturday agreed to work together in the Indian Ocean region, strengthen defence cooperation and add new momentum to the fight against terrorism as the two sides signed 14 agreements, including in the areas of space cooperation and high speed railways, following bilateral talks headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron here.

“Both of us agree that the Indian Ocean region will play a significant role in the future for the peace, prosperity and development of the world,” Modi said in a joint address to the media along with Macron following the talks.

“Whether it be environment, maritime security and resources, freedom of navigation or overflight, we are committed to strengthen our cooperation,” he stated.

Modi said the two countries were releasing a Joint Strategic Vision for cooperation in the Indian Ocean region in what can be seen as a strong China given Beijing’s increasing influence in the region.

On his part, Macron said that both France and India are giving a new momentum in their strategic partnership against terror.

Stating that there is a long history of cooperation in defence, security, space and high technology, Modi said that there bipartisan support in both countries on the bilateral relationship.

“We share a deep defence relationship and we see France as one of our most trusted partners in this area,” he said.

“All services of our defence forces regularly hold discussions and conduct joint exercises. We have strong ties in defence equipment and production. We welcome France’s commitment to Make in India in the defence sector.”

The Prime Minister said that an agreement for provision of reciprocal logistics support between the armed forces between the two countries signed on Friday was a golden step towards close defence cooperation.

Modi also said that people-to-people ties, especially the youth, is the most important dimension for the bright future of the bilateral relationship.

“We want our youth to know, see, understand, live, and work in each other’s countries so that thousands of ambassadors emerge in the process,” he said.

For this, he said, two agreements were signed following Saturday’s talks – one on mutual recognition of academic qualifications and the other on mobility and migration partnership.

Modi said that the India-France relationship extends to all areas, including railways, urban development, environment, security and space.

Among the agreements signed were those on cooperation on high speed and semi-high speed rail, sustainable urban development, credit facility of 100 million for funding of smart city projects, exchange of information between the governments and technical experts of the two countries in the field of environment and climate change and provision of end-to-end solution for detection, identification and monitoring of vessels in the regions of interest for France and India.

Macron arrived here on Friday on a four-day visit to India during the course of which he and Modi will co-chair the founding conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) which was launched by the Indian Prime Minister and then French President Francois launched during the Paris climate summit in 2015.

The ISA is conceived as a coalition of solar resource-rich countries to address their special energy needs and provide a platform to collaborate on dealing with the identified gaps through a common, agreed approach.

It is open to all 121 prospective member countries falling between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.

Some 60 countries have signed the framework agreement of the ISA and 30 submitted the instruments of ratification.

The founding conference on Sunday will be attended by 23 of those who have submitted the instruments of ratification and 24 of those who have signed the framework agreement.

Modi said that a number of heads of state and government and ministers from other countries would join him and Macron at the conference.

“We are committed to the success of the International Solar Alliance,” he stated.

French President Emmanuel Macron received Guard of Honour at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi on Saturday.

French President along with his wife  paid tribute to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat.

Earlier Breaking protocol, Prime Minister Narendra Modi received French President Emmanuel Macron at the airport when he arrived here on Friday on a four-day visit to India, during the course of which the two leaders will co-chair the founding conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA).

Modi welcomed Macron with a warm hug as soon as he alighted from the aircraft and shook hands with his wife Brigitte Macron.

IANS

 

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