Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, is conducting an official visit to India from April 13 to 15, at the invitation of the Indian authorities. This visit reflects the vitality of the strategic partnership between France and India, which has continued to strengthen despite the health crisis and reflects the solidarity between our two countries in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
The minister met today with his counterpart, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, India’s Minister of External Affairs, to discuss the strengthening of bilateral cooperation and regional and international issues. The two ministers discussed all aspects of our bilateral strategic partnership, notably the deepening of defense cooperation, the strengthening of exchanges in the space field and EDF’s proposal for the construction of 6 EPRs in Jaitapur.
The ministers discussed the concrete achievements our two countries are supporting in the Indo-Pacific region, including through the new trilateral dialogue with Australia. During this meeting, the minister formalized France’s adherence to the Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative (IPOI) launched by the Indian prime minister.
With respect to major regional and international issues, the two ministers confirmed our two countries’ commitment to an international order based on law. The minister also discussed the ongoing work within the EU on the development of a European strategy for the Indo-Pacific region, which France actively supports.
During his visit, the minister will chair, together with India’s minister of environment, an event dedicated to strengthening our shared commitment to the environment. In January 2021, France and India launched the Indo-French Year of the Environment which will shape cooperation between our two countries in the context of the year’s key multilateral events such as COP15 and COP26.
Lastly, the minister’s visit to India will provide an opportunity to promote individual exchanges with the induction of around 10 “study in France ambassadors,” as well as cultural exchanges through a meeting with the producers of the main recent French-Indian co-productions and teams considering filming in France, with particular attention to gender equality. It is aimed at supporting economic ties between the two countries, notably with respect to innovation and start-ups, promoting the attractiveness of France for Indian investors, encouraging partnerships in the health and biotechnology sectors and highlighting recent progress in civilian space cooperation, notably with respect to manned flights.