India and France sign in the Indo-Pacific inclusive and equal access to Covid-19 vaccines
India and France discussed cooperation on issues ranging from defense and counter-terrorism to civil nuclear energy and reiterated their commitment to an inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific during their annual strategic dialogue.
National security adviser Ajit Doval and Emmanuel Bonne, diplomatic adviser to the French president, participated in the dialogue in New Delhi on Thursday. Bonne, who is France’s Sherpa for the G7 and G20, also met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla.
The agenda for the strategic dialogue included defense and security, key international and regional issues, including the Indo-Pacific, counter-terrorism, cybersecurity and cooperation in space, and civil nuclear energy.
“On each issue, the two sides noted the high degree of convergence of views and agreed on concrete steps to further enhance their cooperation. In particular, they reiterated their commitment to an inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific that contributes to a multipolar Asia in a multipolar world, ”the French embassy said in a statement.
In his meetings with the Indian leadership, Bonne conveyed President Emmanuel Macron’s desire to further strengthen the relationship of trust and friendship with India. “Indo-French cooperation will be key to addressing global challenges in 2021, such as ensuring equitable and universal access to Covid-19 vaccines, protecting the climate and biodiversity, and building a renewed multilateralism,” the statement said.
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In this regard, Bonne said that France will work closely with India on the UN Security Council in 2021-22 and reiterated his country’s support for India’s bid for a permanent seat on the council. India recently began a two-year term as a non-permanent member of the Security Council.
The Foreign Ministry said both sides highlighted the convergence of views on a variety of issues.
France and India established a strategic partnership in 1998 that has grown in scope and depth. France has also supported India’s efforts to combat terrorism in multilateral bodies such as the UN and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).