Emmanuel Macron wants France to replace Britain as India's 'gateway to Europe'

Emmanuel Macron wants France to replace Britain as India's 'gateway to Europe'

Emmanuel Macron wants France to replace Britain as India's 'gateway to Europe'

The $9.3-billion framework agreement for six nuclear reactors was signed during a visit to India in 2010 by then-president Nicolas Sarkozy.

The French President is scheduled to attend the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Summit, an initiative mooted by France and India on Sunday followed by a visit to Taj Mahal.

While interacting with the students at Delhi's Bikaner House, the French President said, "Most of the issues we have today, on climate and terrorism are because of the short-term vision of most of the leaders".

He said the first one is to open a new era in the India-France Strategic Partnership "in terms of defence and security, in terms of research and science, especially in terms of our youth, higher education and science". "We discussed several areas of India-France cooperation, particularly in defence, security, trade and people-to-people ties".

Macron said, "Stability in the Indian Ocean is very important for the stability of the entire region, and we are with India for freedom of navigation in the Indo-Pacific".

"Our defence cooperation is very strong and we consider France among the most trusted defence partners", Modi said in a statement to the media, in the presence of Macron.

The Indian community, including NRIs in mainland France number around 1.1 lakh people; largely originating from French enclaves of Puducherry, Karaikal, Yanam, Mahe and Chandernagore.

In a direct reference to China's aggressive stance in South China Sea, Macron said sea lanes should be free from aggression and any kind of domination over those can not be tolerated. India has been France's first ally in the region.

Emmanuel Macron writes in the visitor's book at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. AP
Emmanuel Macron writes in the visitor's book at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. AP

India and France today made a decision to step up cooperation in space technology and use it in the maritime domain.

"The second goal of this trip is to organise this International Solar Alliance (conference)", he said.

French is set to sign an Electrical energy agreement also various agreements on climate change and sanction of projects to "invest in the future of India".

The objective of the solar alliance of more than 120 countries is to work for efficient exploitation of solar energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

Macron also talked about his personal rapport with Modi which was established after their meeting in Paris previous year.

India's main exports to France include textiles, boilers, electrical machinery and equipment, organic chemicals, railroad rolling stock, mineral fuels, leather goods, and gems and jewelry.

Earlier in the day, Mr Macron talked about his personal rapport with Mr Modi, which was established after their meeting in Paris past year.

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