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Political relations

As early as the 1980s, we wanted to give new scope to ourrelationswithIndia. This rapprochement was made concrete by the launch of a strategic partnership in 1998, as well as by a strategic dialogue a year later. This dialogue is based on annual high-level meetings and consultations conducted semi-annually by the Diplomatic Advisor to the French President and India’s National Security Advisor.

The strategic partnership is deployed by the yardstick of the following areas:

-  civil nuclear cooperation: the bilateral cooperation agreement for the development of peaceful uses of nuclear energy, which went into effect on 14 January 2010, defined the framework of our cooperation in this field. Two agreements signed on 6 December 2010 complete its legal aspects. Several cooperation projects in the area of nuclear research and safety are in the process of being finalized. The industrial component of this cooperation is also under consideration;

-  defence cooperation: our cooperation in this area is ambitious and several cooperation projects are currently being considered. Our military contacts are increasing through joint exercises;

-  space cooperation: the agreement on the use of outer space for peaceful purposes, signed on 30 September 2008, extended and clarified the areas of cooperation, emphasizing in particular the study of climate change using space-based facilities for Earth observation, or the development of telecommunications satellites for commercial purposes. This agreement made it possible to develop the Megha-Tropiques satellite, launched on 12 October 2011, and the SARAL satellite, which will be put into orbit soon.

Cooperation in the area of security and the fight against terrorism: since the attacks in Mumbai in 2008, France and India have strengthened their cooperation in this area.

In the area of foreign policy, our own vision of reforms to conduct in the processes of world governance, and our support on several strategic issues for New Delhi – for its candidacy for a seat as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, support for its access to civil nuclear cooperation – are highly appreciated inIndia.

From a regional standpoint,Francefully supportsIndiain its efforts to fight terrorism and welcomes theIndiangovernment’s efforts with a view to resuming apoliticaldialogue with Pakistan. We seek to raiseIndia’s awareness of our position on sensitive regional issues(Iran, Afghanistan, and Syria).

The French President made a working visit to India from 4 to 7 December 2010. This visit made it possible to strengthen the partnership between France and India and open new prospects for cooperation, through the signing of a series of agreements and the adoption of concrete projects in all areas (nuclear, space, university, economics and trade). This visit took place following a succession of visits at the highest level: the French President’s visit to India on 26 January 2008 (guest of honour for India’s national holiday) and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to France on 29 and 30 September 2008 (EU-India summit in Marseilles, then a bilateral summit in Paris), the Prime Minister’s trip in 2009 for the 14 July ceremonies, featuring 400 Indian soldiers parading on the Champs Elysées.

The Ministre d’État went to India on 20 and 21 October 2011, where he was able to meet with the Prime Minister, and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, the Interior and Finance. He reviewed the progress made since the presidential visit in 2010, and brought up the major issues and current crises that call for a concerted response from the international community.

Updated on 03.09.12

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