India and France: Prime Minister Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening the two countries’ long-standing friendship, which is based on their shared vision for the Indo-Pacific region. India and France have agreed to step up collaboration in the Southwest Indian Ocean, expanding on collaborative surveillance operations conducted from the French island jurisdiction of La Reunion in 2020 and 2022.
The two countries also hailed the expansion of their cooperation in India’s maritime neighborhood. These interactions may help to secure key marine channels of communication, according to the India-France Joint Statement issued following French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to India for Republic Day celebrations. The leaders highlighted the region’s importance to their individual sovereign and strategic interests. They also underlined the importance of their regional relationship in advancing a free, open, inclusive, safe, and peaceful Indo-Pacific and beyond. Referring to the Comprehensive Roadmap for the Indo-Pacific, which was finalized in July 2023, they expressed satisfaction with the region’s growing engagement.
According to the joint statement, the defense and security partnership has formed the foundation of India-France cooperation in the Indo-Pacific area, which comprises a wide range of bilateral, multinational, regional, and institutional efforts, particularly in the Indian Ocean area. The two leaders requested that their governments come up with specific project ideas after seeing the value of cooperative and multilateral efforts in promoting human welfare, resilient infrastructure, innovation, and connectivity in the region as well as sustainable economic development. In the joint statement, the two presidents also demanded that the Indo-Pacific Triangular Development Cooperation Fund be established as soon as possible to help with the expansion of green technology development in the area.
They decided to look for ways to coordinate Pacific-wide economic initiatives and programs. The French Development Agency was praised by both leaders for its work in India. The two leaders talked about how the India-Middle East-Europe Corridor (IMEC) was introduced in September 2023 in Delhi, outside of the G20 Summit. Prime Minister Modi received praise from President Macron for spearheading this momentous project. Both presidents concurred that this project would be extremely important from a strategic standpoint and would greatly increase the potential and robustness of the energy and trade flows connecting Europe, the Middle East, and India.
The project’s Special Envoy, President Macron, was duly appointed, a development that Prime Minister Modi praised. The two presidents also recalled talking about other connection projects that would connect Southeast Asia to the Middle East and Africa during their July summit in Paris, and they decided to look into particular projects. PM Modi and President Macron reaffirmed their support for effective multilateralism that is reformed to confront urgent global challenges, maintain a just and peaceful international order, and get the world ready for new developments, particularly in the economic and technical spheres. The two presidents specifically emphasized how vital it is to restructure the UN Security Council and demanded that text-based negotiations at the UN’s Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) start as soon as possible.
France reaffirmed its unwavering support for India’s UNSC permanent membership. The two leaders decided to have more in-depth discussions about how to govern the use of the veto in the event of mass atrocities. The two leaders concurred that the Paris Global Financing Summit and the G20 Summit in Delhi had highlighted the necessity of reforming Multilateral Development Banks to make them larger, better, and more efficient to be able to address the related issues of climate change and development in developing and least developed nations. They applauded the Independent Expert Group’s report, which was turned in under the Indian G20 Presidency, for offering specific recommendations in this area. According to the joint statement, they also acknowledged improved collaboration between India and the Paris Club in formal debt restructuring instances.