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‘France a major power with global outlook, independent mindset’: Jaishankar on sidelines of EU Ministerial Forum

At the European Union ministerial forum on Indo-Pacific, India and France also adopted the “India-France Roadmap on the Blue Economy

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday addressed the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI) and highlighted how French institutions provides valuable insights into the role of Europe in the world.

Jaishankar, who arrived in Paris from Germany on a three-day visit to France, held talks with French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and reiterated their shared commitment to the principles of multilateralism and a rules-based order, and sought to deepen the partnership in the Indo Pacific region.

The discussions came in the backdrop of the EU Ministerial Forum on Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.

In a statement on how ‘India sees France’, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that it is "a major power with a global outlook and an independent mindset…central to multipolarity and rebalancing”

The two ministers discussed key regional and global issues. Jaishankar stated that France has been “extremely responsive to India’s concerns and priorities… has a long history as a trusted partner". 

Having entered an era of turbulence, Jaishankar said, it gives the India-France partnership a still greater salience in international relations.

“Those with shared values and common vision obviously fit the bill more perfectly. That is certainly the case with France and India,” the Union minister noted, adding that these ties have continuously adapted to change and come out stronger.

Speaking on the economic ties between the two countries, Jaishankar said, “France has been an important bridge for us to the European Union. A key expectation today is French support for the launch of negotiations between India and the EU on trade and investments.”

“France is also among the foremost countries as India seeks to build industrial self-reliance in the defence sector, with a sense of urgency and priority,” the minister further added.

Jaishankar appreciated the French initiative of hosting an EU Ministerial Forum on Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific and said that the agenda of India's partnership with France is truly extensive.

At the opening session of the forum, Jaishankar said, "Indo-Pacific is at the heart of the multipolarity and rebalancing that characterizes contemporary changes. But it is essential greater power and stronger capabilities led to responsibility...This means respect for international laws and territorial integrity and sovereignty."

On the sidelines of the event, both sides also adopted the "India-France Roadmap on the Blue Economy and Ocean Governance”, with an aim to enhance partnership in the field of blue economy by way of institutional, economic, infrastructural and scientific cooperation.

They also agreed to continue to enhance their cooperation in the field of sports. The two sides agreed to conclude a Joint Declaration of Intent in the Area of Sports, aimed at further facilitating people-to-people contact.

Source : Hindustan Times

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