India and France agree to strengthen bilateral defence and security partnership
France is one of India’s premier global and Indo Pacific partners, NSA Ajit Doval said
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, who landed in Paris on Friday, held the annual India-France Strategic Dialogue with Emmanuel Bonne, Diplomatic Advisor to French President Emmanuel Macron.
They discussed the global security environment, including current developments and long term challenges in the Indo Pacific region; the situation in Afghanistan, Africa, Southeast Asia and West Asia; the continuing challenge of terrorism; and, emerging threats in maritime, cyber and space domains, a statement issued by the Indian embassy in France maintained.
They agreed to strengthen bilateral defence and security partnership through enhanced intelligence and information sharing, operational cooperation, bolstering mutual capabilities, expanding bilateral exercises and pursuing new initiatives in maritime, space and cyber domains.
NSA Doval also met Chief Military Advisor to the French President, Admiral Jean-Philippe Rolland, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Minister of Armed Forces Florence Parly.
As per the Indian embassy statement, during these meetings, France stressed its continuing commitment to the Indo Pacific region, as a resident power, and partnership with India as a major pillar of its Indo Pacific strategy.
The two sides reaffirmed the vision articulated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Emmanuel Macron, most recently during their meeting on the margins of G20 Summit in Rome, that their strategic partnership has a vital role to play in advancing peace, stability and security in the Indo Pacific region, based on democratic values and a common belief in strategic autonomy, rule of law, multipolarity and multilateralism.
India welcomed EU’s Indo Pacific strategy and looked forward to French presidency of the EU in the first half of 2022 as an opportunity to give further shape to EU’s engagement in the Indo Pacific region, including in security, connectivity, sustainability and economic development.
They agreed that the emerging trends in global affairs reinforce the need for closer partnership between India and France, including in the UNSC and other UN forums.
The two sides will pursue these objectives through enhanced bilateral cooperation, deepening engagement in regional institutions and forums and jointly working with and assisting other countries in the Indo Pacific region.
France reiterated its commitment to fully support Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and defence industrialisation, joint research and technology development in India across a wide range of advanced capabilities, based on long-standing cooperation and mutual trust.
Building on the successful India-France initiative on International Solar Alliance, the two sides stressed the need to accelerate cooperation in clean energy, including civil nuclear energy and green hydrogen.