india france: India, France to widen Indo-Pacific partnership to balance China’s ambitions


NEW DELHI: India and France will hold high level negotiations this week to widen their security partnership in the Indo-Pacific region amid growing Chinese ambitions.

The potential for cooperation between India and France in the Indian Ocean maritime region covers a whole range of issues, from defence to political matters, and economic to environmental. The forthcoming dialogues will take forward their existing strategic partnership in the Indian Ocean Region.

On the occasion of the Raisina Dialogue 2019, Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, Secretary-General (Foreign Secretary) of the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, and Admiral Christophe Prazuck, Chief of the Naval Staff of France, will participate in high-level panels to review and assess the strong strategic partnership between India and France, particularly in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

On Thursday Maurice Gourdault-Montagne will participate in the Dialogue’s concluding panel of the 2019 edition entitled “The Road to 2030: Challenges, Partnerships and Predictions”, along with Shri Vijay Gokhale, Foreign Secretary, Government of India.

On the margins of the 2019 Raisina Dialogue, the Secretary-General will also hold bilateral meetings. He will meet K. N. Vyas, Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy and Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission, and Vijay Gokhale, Foreign Secretary.

Looking forward to the 2019 edition of the Raisina Dialogue, Maurice Gourdault-Montagne said, “India and France share a commonality of views and aligned interests on a wide range of issues. Our strategic partnership of 20 years covers defence cooperation, ambitious space programmes, civil nuclear energy initiatives, and an established counter-terrorism cooperation. Our two countries also share the same views for a multilateral world, fighting climate change and bringing our people closer together. For the second year in a row, I will attend the Raisina Dialogue as I wish to further strengthen the special bond between our two countries, and assert France’s strong commitment to being India’s all-weather partner.”

Following President Emmanuel Macron’s State visit in March 2018, and Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian’s recent visit in December, this third high–level delegation to India, in less than a year, acknowledges the rock-solid strategic partnership between France and India.

Admiral Christophe Prazuck, Chief of the Naval Staff of France, met Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Naval Staff of India on Monday. They held extensive talks and explored ways to further deepen operational cooperation between the two navies.

Admiral Christophe Prazuck on Tuesday visited the Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) and the Information Fusion Centre (IFC). He will also give a speech at the National Defence College.

Admiral Christophe Prazuk, along with his Indian, Australian, Japanese and American counterparts, will participate in the high-level panel of the Dialogue entitled “Indo-Pacific: Ancient Waters and Emerging Geometries”. Admiral Prazuck will share his thoughts on the special strategic partnership between India and France, especially in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

Speaking ahead of the occasion, Admiral Christophe Prazuck said, “The IOR is vital for both countries as France has more than 20 lakh citizens in this area and we are facing common challenges. The Joint Strategic Vision for the IOR released during President Emmanuel Macron’s State visit to India has drawn up a comprehensive agenda. Cooperation between our respective navies has intensified and the French aircraft carrier, Charles de Gaulle, will dock here, in India, in May 2019, to participate in the annual Varuna exercise with the Indian Navy.”


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