New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday said that India and France agreed to work towards the establishment of Indo-Pacific trilateral development cooperation.

Addressing a press conference along with his French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna in New Delhi, Jaishankar said that the Indo-Pacific trilateral is expected to provide a platform for Indian innovations and start-ups to demonstrate their relevance to the requirements of other societies.

"The French have a long-standing presence on either extremity of the Indo-Pacific. Hearing Minister Colonna's views and assessments of those regions was truly of great value. We agreed to establish Indo-Pacific trilateral development cooperation that would facilitate development projects, especially in the framework of the International Solar Alliance," Jaishankar said.

"One reflection of the expanding comfort between India and France is the interest in creating a trilateral format with other partners. I referred earlier to our cooperation on development issues in the Indo-Pacific. We also look forward to the meeting of India, France, Australia, trilateral in New York later in the month with our colleague Penny Wong. Another trilateral with the UAE will also be upgraded to the ministerial level, given the positive feedback," he added.

Jaishankar spoke about the collaboration between India and France on joint projects in the International Solar Alliance in three countries namely Bhutan, Papua New Guinea and Senegal.

French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna while talking about France and India relations said: "In 75 years of diplomatic relations, France and India have always supported each other. Even in the toughest of times, we have never failed each other. In today's world, such a level of solidarity and trust is rare and precious,".

"In the field of defence, of course. No other country is ready to share its most advanced defence technologies with India as much as France. And we are proud to be one of your very first defence partners, not only in industrial terms but also in operational ones. Our armed forces are now conducting joint patrols, which is a major step forward," Colonna added while calling French one of the first defence partners to India.

Colonna is visiting India from September 14-15 and she aims to move forward with an ambitious plan to deepen and expand the Indo-French strategic partnership ahead of its 25th anniversary next year.