Wed, 05 Oct 2022

New Delhi [India], September 14 (ANI): French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, during the joint press conference in New Delhi on Wednesday, said that France is proud to be one of India's first defence partners, adding that the arm forces of both the countries are now conducting joint patrols.

"In the field of defence, no other country is ready to share its most advanced defence technologies with India as much as France. And we are proud to be one of your very first defence partners, not only in industrial terms but also in operational ones. Our armed forces are now conducting joint patrols, which is a major step forward," Colonna said.

She also asserted that France we will soon initiate a new dialogue on security issues in space.

"Our cybersecurity cooperation is progressing well and our counter-terrorism cooperation remains very close. We are already doing a great deal together on low-carbon energy. Our Jaitapur civil nuclear project is progressing well. I would like to recall that it would provide India with the largest nuclear power plant in the world to serve its goals of energy independence and the fight against global warming," Catherine Colonna said at the press conference.

Colonna is visiting India from September 14-15 and she aims to move forward with an ambitious plan to deepen and expand the Indo-French strategic partnership ahead of its 25th anniversary next year.

Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that India and France agreed to work towards the establishment of Indo-Pacific trilateral development cooperation.

"The French have a long-standing presence on either extremity of the Indo-Pacific. Hearing Minister Colonna's views and assessments of those regions was truly of great value. We agreed to establish Indo-Pacific trilateral development cooperation that would facilitate development projects, especially in the framework of the International Solar Alliance," Jaishankar said.

Jaishankar spoke about the collaboration between India and France on joint projects in the International Solar Alliance in three countries namely Bhutan, Papua New Guinea and Senegal.

Speaking about, the war between Russia and Ukraine, the French Foreign Minister reiterated its commitment to India.

"As an Indo-Pacific nation, our commitment to the region is unwavering. The war in Ukraine will not affect that. And India is and will remain at the core of our comprehensive strategy for the region," she said.

French Foreign Minister also called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and conveyed President Emmanuel Macron's message of friendship and cooperation to the Prime Minister. (ANI)

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