India and France Set to Deepen Defence Ties with Early Finalisation of Roadmap
10 September, 2023 | Srishti Ruchandani
President Macron and PM Modi recognized robust India-France civil nuclear ties, progress in Jaitapur nuclear plant talks, and ongoing engagement.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron reiterated their commitment to strengthen defence cooperation through partnership in the design and expansion of production in India and called for early finalisation of the Defence Industrial Roadmap. On Sunday, both leaders had a bilateral meeting over lunch during the G-20 Leaders’ Summit in New Delhi. According to the joint statement, India and France “reiterated their commitment to strengthen the defence cooperation through partnership in design, development, testing and manufacture of advanced defence technologies and platforms, and expand production in India, including for third countries in Indo-Pacific and beyond. In this context, they also called for early finalisation of the Defence Industrial Roadmap.”
“Acknowledging the strength of the India-France partnership, founded in deep trust, shared values, belief in sovereignty and strategic autonomy, a resolute commitment to international law and principles enshrined in the UN Charter, an abiding faith in multilateralism and a mutual pursuit of a stable multi-polar world, both leaders emphasized the need to expand their collaboration to address regional and global challenges. They reiterated their unwavering commitment to collectively serve as a force of good, carrying the message of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ i.e. ‘one earth, one family, one future’, during tumultuous times reshaping the global order,” the joint statement read.
With the ‘Horizon 2047’ Roadmap, the Indo-Pacific Roadmap and other outcomes during PM Modi’s visit serving as recent points of reference, the two leaders discussed overall progress and next steps on the implementation of the new and ambitious goals for cooperation in areas of defence, space, nuclear energy, digital public infrastructure, critical technology, climate change, education, and people-to-people contacts.
Both the leaders also carried forward their discussions on India-France partnership in the Indo-Pacific region and Africa, including in infrastructure, connectivity, energy, biodiversity, sustainability and industrial projects.
Both the leaders underlined their role as providers of solutions for the Indo-Pacific through their cooperation in the framework of the International Solar Alliance, launched by India and France, and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.
“Laying emphasis on areas such as digital, science, technological innovation, education, culture, health and environment cooperation, both leaders called for the strengthening of institutional linkages in these domains, on the model of the Indo-French Campus for the Indo-Pacific. They also reaffirmed their commitment to expanding cultural exchanges and working together in the development of museums,” the statement read.
Macron congratulated PM Modi on the success of Mission Chandrayaan 3. The two leaders recalled six decades of India-France Space cooperation and reviewed the progress since the holding of the first Strategic Space Dialogue in June 2023.
President Macron and PM Modi acknowledged the strong India-France civil nuclear ties, and good progress in the discussion for the Jaitapur nuclear plant project and welcomed the continuing engagement of both sides to expand bilateral cooperation to establish a partnership for co-developing SMR and AMR technologies as well as the forthcoming signature of a dedicated declaration of intent. France reiterated its steadfast and unwavering support for India’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group.