India, France sign military logistics support deal and 13 other agreements

India, France sign military logistics support deal and 13 other agreements

On his first visit to India after he assumed office in May 2017, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday that one of the reasons he came to visit India was to deliver a message that France should be the best partner for India, especially in Europe.

They said the issue of Rafale deal figured in the talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Macron.

Officials said the French side pitched for procurement of another batch of 36 Rafale jets by India during the talks between French Defence Minister Florence Parly and her Indian counterpart Nirmala Sitharaman.

Presenting the French perspective on maritime and military cooperation, President Emmanuel Macron said, "The Pacific and the Indian Oceans can not become zones for hegemonic power and we are, therefore, building a strategic partnership". Besides, the visit is also aimed at forging not only strong manufacturing and technology partnerships, but also greater people-to-people contacts.

"To harness the opportunities and to meet the challenges together, the two leaders have agreed on an action oriented Joint Strategic Vision for Cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region", the statement said.

A technical agreement was also signed on the French-assisted nuclear power project at Jaitapur in western Maharashtra state.

Under the deal, India and France will open their naval bases to warships from each other, a move seen as an attempt to undermine Chinas territorial ambitions.

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She also defended her far-right party's stance against immigration and in defence of French culture and security. She bowed out of politics after her aunt's presidential defeat, but is expected to come back in a new role.

Earlier in the day, Macron was given a ceremonial welcome this morning.

"Issues of maritime security and terrorism will be discussed during the visit of French President", Naidu added.

On his part, Macron said India and France have made a decision to work together to deal with threats of terrorism and radicalisation. He will visit the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Modi Varanasi on March 12.

"France is the entry point to Europe. These two agreements will prepare the framework of closest relations between our countrymen, our youth".

On Sunday, Modi and Macron will co-chair the founding conference of the India-initiated International Solar Alliance (ISA), which was launched by Modi and then French President Francois Hollande during the Paris Climate Summit in 2015.

The last visit of Macron to India was in January 2016, when he was the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations.

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