French Embassy in India has expressed gratitude to Indian Navy for the warm welcome extended to French Naval Ship Lorraine. The French Embassy called it an opportunity for both navies to exchange best practices to continue strengthening ties between India and France. French Embassy in India tweeted, “Thank you @indiannavy @IN_HQSNC for the great welcome extended to FNS Lorraine.

This was an opportunity for our navies for exchanging best practices to continue strengthening our cooperation.” French Embassy made the statement in response to the Southern Naval Command – Training Command of the Indian Navy’s tweet. Southern Naval Command in a tweet stated that FNS Lorraine which recently participated in the Sudan evacuation operation was on a goodwill visit to Kochi from May 3-7.

According to the Southern Naval Command, Captain Xavier Bagot, Commanding Officer Lorraine met Commandore Sumeet Kapoor CSO(Ops) SNC and discussed issues of maritime interest. Southern Naval Command tweeted, “Southern Naval Command FNS Lorraine which recently participated in #sudanevacuation was on goodwill visit to #Kochi fm 03-07 May 23. On arrival, warm welcome was accorded by #IndianNavy. Capt Xavier Bagot, CO Lorraine called on Cmde Sumeet Kapoor, CSO(Ops)#SNC & discussed issues of #maritime interest.”

In another tweet, Southern Naval Command stated, “During the visit, #Training delegation of IndianNavy held professional interaction onboard FNS Lorraine. #FrenchNavy officers visited INS Sutlej at #SNC & shared best practices b/n the Navies. On departure fm Kochi, FNS Lorraine carried out PASSEX with #IndianNavy ship Kolkata.” Earlier in January this year, the 21st Edition of the Bilateral Naval Exercise between India and France – Exercise Varuna was held on the Western Seaboard.

The bilateral exercise between the two navies was initiated in 1993, the Ministry of Defence said in a press release. However, it was christened as ‘VARUNA’ in 2001 and has become a hallmark of the India – France strategic bilateral relationship. India and France have “close and friendly relations,” according to Indian Embassy in France. In 1998, the two countries entered into a Strategic Partnership which is emblematic of their convergence of views on a range of international issues apart from close and growing bilateral ties.