2 May , 2022 Fdiindia
Modi's Visit to Paris Set to Reinforce Indo-french Ties
Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India is embarking on a foreign trip from May 4th to May 8th. His itinerary will involve stops in Germany, France, and Denmark for both business and political trips. During this time, he is scheduled to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen of Denmark. This trip comes at a valuable time as European leaders are struggling to maintain a balance between Russia and Ukraine while still achieving the goals they have set out for themselves regarding energy consumption.
There has been a growing relationship between two nations – India and France – that started with the personal relationship between Modi and Macron, who was elected president a few months ago. The recent visit by President Jacques Chirac in 1998 led to a strategic partnership between the two countries, and this is a first of its kind thanks to his visit.
France is a multidimensional partner in several areas of cooperation. They work with India on issues relating to the civilian nuclear power industry, promoting defense cooperation and trade, expanding their mutual interest in transport, anti-terrorism initiatives, exploration of space together, and cybercrime prevention. For India, France has been a reliable ally for decades. It was one of the first countries not to vote against India's application for a permanent seat at the UN Security Council after India's nuclear tests. The countries also have major cooperative efforts around space systems, which they conduct together with other international space agencies.
Recently France and India have been enjoying an enhanced partnership with strong ties to counter-terrorism. The two great nations have found common interests in the Indo-Pacific region as well. French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Narendra Modi already enjoy a warm relationship together, plus they share a commitment to discuss bilateral issues, including concerning trade and defense cooperation.
Over the years, France's defense cooperation with India has ramped up, and as a result, France is now the second-largest supplier of arms to India after Russia. Their collaboration on the Galway crisis was truly inspiring not only because it illustrated their commitment to mutual protection and holistic security but also showed how each country values its unique friendship. More recently, on April 20th, one of India's newest submarines from France's Naval Group, in collaboration with Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), was launched.
Recently, India has emerged as a front-runner for a possible deal with France's Barracuda nuclear attack submarine. More specifically, Indian defense officials have been in talks since the beginning of 2018 over the possibility of buying two Barracuda submarines to strengthen its northern and western flanks by 2024.
This comes as neither a surprise nor a shock, given that Australia recently canceled its deal with France to build 12 submarines worth AU$30 billion due to the French not being able to meet their obligations promised under the agreement. Although no official deals have been made yet, this indicates that France is going all-in on the project while Britain waits in the wings should the deal fall through between India and France.
Seventy-five years ago, both France and India established diplomatic ties with one another. Modi's trip is scheduled at an appropriate juncture in order to solidify these bilateral relations further and reach mutual understandings on how to deal with the many global economic issues that affect both countries.
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