INDIA: French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed to “act jointly” in the Indo-Pacific region on Tuesday amid France’s fallout with Australia and the US due to the Aukus deal. The Aukus deal sought to curb China’s growing military assertiveness in the region.
During a telephonic conversation, Macron assured PM Modi of continued “commitment to the strengthening of India’s strategic autonomy, including its industry and technology base, as part of a close relationship based on trust and mutual respect.”
The telephonic conversation between the two leaders was held days after the US, the UK, and Australia announced a defense deal. According to the deal, America and Britain were going to provide Australia with the technology to build nuclear-powered submarines.
“The shared approach of the two countries within the framework of the Euro-Indian relationship “aims to promote regional stability and the rule of law, while ruling out any form of hegemony,” said Macron’s office.
The office also stated that the bilateral cooperation will be further strengthened in all areas with a special emphasis on the economic front.
Meanwhile, France has welcomed India’s decision to resume deliveries of vaccines to COVAX from next month.
The new security pact was a major setback for France as it led to the cancellation of a $40 billion French submarine order from Australia. France called the deal a “stab in the back” and recalled its ambassadors from the United States and Australia.
Talking about world peace, PM Modi and Macron also expressed serious concerns over the ongoing political and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. Macron’s office said that the Taliban have to sever their ties with international terrorists and respect the fundamental rights of Afghans. Macron and PM Modi also agreed to coordinate ahead of multilateral summits such as G20 and COP26.