G20 Summit 2023 : PM Modi, French President Emmanuel Macron Pledge To Strengthen India-France Defence Ties

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During their meeting at the G20 summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron expressed their commitment to enhancing the defence cooperation between India and France.

A joint statement on the Modi-Macron talks said they acknowledged “good progress” in discussions for the Jaitapur nuclear project and welcomed engagement of both sides to expand cooperation to establish a partnership for co-developing SMR (small modular reactors) and AMR (advanced modular reactors) technologies as well as the forthcoming firming up of a “dedicated declaration” of intent.

Macron also characterized the India-France relationship as highly robust and, although not specifying details, mentioned that there would be more contracts and acquisitions in the months and years ahead.

“French people were very proud and they felt the friendship and respect for your country,” he said.

“As G20 president, India did its best to send across a message of unity and peace to the world while Russia was still waging its aggression against Ukraine,” Macron said.

“In this context, they also called for early finalisation of the defence industrial roadmap,” it said.

“The two leaders discussed overall progress and next steps on the implementation of the new and ambitious goals for cooperation in areas of defence, space, nuclear energy, digital public infrastructure, critical technology, climate change, education, and people-to-people contacts”, it added.

“They also carried forward their discussions on India-France partnership in the Indo Pacific region and Africa, including in infrastructure, connectivity, energy, biodiversity, sustainability and industrial projects,” the statement said.

The joint statement said the two leaders also discussed, assessed and reviewed the progress in bilateral relations since their last meeting in July in Paris. Modi had graced the Bastille Day parade on July 14 as the guest of honour.

The statement also referred to acknowledgement by the two leaders to the “strength of India France partnership, founded in deep trust, shared values, belief in sovereignty and strategic autonomy, a resolute commitment to international law and principles enshrined in the UN Charter”.

“They reiterated their unwavering commitment to collectively serve as a force of good, carrying the message of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ that is ‘one earth, one family, one future’, during tumultuous times reshaping the global order,” it said.

The two leaders recalled six decades of India-France Space cooperation and reviewed the progress since holding of the first strategic space dialogue in June 2023.

Modi and Macron also emphasised the need to expand Indo-French collaboration to address regional and global challenges.

“They reiterated their unwavering commitment to collectively serve as a force of good, carrying the message of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ that is ‘one earth, one family, one future’, during tumultuous times reshaping the global order,”

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