Jean-Yves Le Drian held in-depth talks with his counterpart, the External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar

India and France during ongoing visit of Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France, have decided to expand their Indo-Pacific partnership with Paris joining the Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Minister held in-depth talks with his counterpart, the External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar, on Tuesday on enhancing bilateral cooperation as well as regional and international issues.

The two Ministers raised all the aspects of the bilateral strategic partnership, including the deepening of defence cooperation, intensifying exchanges in the field of space, and the √Člectricit√© de France (EDF) offer for the construction of 6 Evolutionary Power Reactors/European Pressurised Reactor in Jaitapur, according to a statement issued by the French government.

The Ministers also exchanged views on the concrete initiatives that our two countries jointly implement in the Indo-Pacific, including through the new trilateral dialogue with Australia. On this occasion, the Minister officialised France’s adhesion to the IPOI (Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative), launched by the Prime Minister of India, according to the statement.

On major regional and international issues, the two Ministers reaffirmed France and India’s commitment to an international order based on the rule of law. Minister Le Drian also raised the ongoing work in the European Union towards the adoption of a European strategy for the Indo-Pacific, which France actively supports.

During the visit, the Minister also co-chaired with the Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change of India, Shri Prakash Javadekar, an event dedicated to strengthening our joint commitment to the environment. In January 2021, France and India launched the Indo-French Year of the Environment, which will structure the cooperation between our two countries in the run-up to the key multilateral events of the year, such as COP15 and COP26.

“The Minister’s India visit is also an opportunity to promote people-to-people ties, with the induction of fifteen “Alumni Ambassadors of Higher Education in France”; and culture, through a meeting with the producers of prominent recent Indo-French co-productions and the crews that plan shoots in France, while particularly paying attention to gender parity in the film industry. The visit aims to support economic ties between the two countries, especially with regard to innovation and start-ups, to promote France’s attractiveness for Indian investors, encouraging partnerships in healthcare and biotechnology, and highlighting recent progress in civilian space cooperation, particularly with reference to human spaceflight,” according to the statement.