36th Indo-French Strategic Dialogue: Indo-Pacific Cooperation, Rafale (M), Counter-Terrorism Discussed

Foreign Affairs

New Delhi: India and France held the 36th session of the Indo-French Strategic Dialogue with focus on the strategic partnership including defence and security cooperation; counter-terrorism, Indo-Pacific cooperation; cyber security; civil nuclear energy and space. Also on the agenda of talks was the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, major international and regional issues among others.

In the first bilateral visit of the year Emmanuel Bonne, Diplomatic Advisor and G7/G20 Sherpa to the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, held talks with his counterpart National Security Advisor Ajit Doval here. The visit would  pave the way for an ambitious expansion of the Indo-French strategic partnership as it marks its 25th anniversary this year and the likely visit of the French President Macron in the first quarter of 2023. According to the official spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs Arindam Bagchi, he later called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also had a meeting with External affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and later with G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant.

During the talks, according to an official statement issued by the French embassy here, the two sides agreed to raise the level of cooperation even further with the goal of accelerating efforts towards strategic autonomy. The official statement of French Embassy New Delhi states that Bonne conveyed President Macron’s message that to tackle global challenges Indo-French cooperation would be the key, and he also stressed his country’s full support for India’s G20 presidency.

Reiterating France’s support for a permanent seat at the UN Security Council he also praised the excellent cooperation with India at the UNSC. The countries established a strategic partnership in 1998. This has grown continuously in both scope and depth. It is based on mutual trust, joint vision for rules based as well as multipolar world order.