SOURCE : PTI
Ahead of its Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna’s trip to India, France on Tuesday said the visit demonstrates its unwavering commitment to the Indo-Pacific and determination to work with New Delhi to find common solutions to “global disorders”.
Colonna kicks-off a two-day visit to India on Wednesday during which she will call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, meet National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and hold extensive talks with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
“The aim of Minister Colonna’s visit is to move forward with an ambitious agenda to deepen and expand the Indo-French strategic partnership ahead of its 25th anniversary next year,” the French foreign ministry said in a statement.
“The visit also demonstrates France’s unwavering commitment to the Indo-Pacific and determination to work with India to find common solutions to global disorders,” it added.
The ministry said the visit will “exemplify” France’s commitment to the “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” initiative in the defence sector and to the Indo-French naval cooperation as a net security provider in the Indo-Pacific.
It said Colonna will call on Modi on Wednesday.
“In a year that marks the 75th anniversary of Indo-French diplomatic relations, Minister Colonna will highlight France’s belief that our trust-based strategic partnership is our best asset to continue boosting our strategic autonomy and uphold a multipolar rules-based world order,” the French statement said.
It said Colonna will convey France’s full support to India’s upcoming G20 presidency.
According to the French foreign ministry, the talks between Colonna and Jaishankar will cover the entire gamut of bilateral strategic partnership, regional and global subjects of common interest, and coordination on issues under consideration at the UN Security Council.
It said Colonna will meet Doval for discussions on regional and global security issues, defence cooperation as well as the implementation of France’s counter-terrorism cooperation with India, which is hosting the “No Money for Terror” conference this year.
On Thursday, Colonna will travel to Mumbai where she will meet with leading Indian investors.
The minister will address the annual general meeting of the Indo-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IFCCI).
“She will call upon French companies to continue investing in India’s immense potential with sustainable solutions that help meet India’s ecological transition goals and strengthen the Indo-French partnership for the planet,” the statement said.
In the afternoon, Colonna will deliver a speech on “France and India in the Indo-Pacific: an essential partnership in challenging times” at an event organised by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF).
“This will be Colonna’s first major speech on the Indo-Pacific since assuming office and be an occasion to highlight the key role of the France-India strategic partnership in delivering a positive agenda for security and prosperity in the region,” the French foreign ministry said.
It said the minister will also tour the Mazagon Dock shipyard, where she will visit “Vagsheer”, the most recent of the France-designed Kalvari-class submarines made in India for the Indian Navy “under a successful transfer of technology programme”.