India-France sign 14 treaties; to boost co-operation in defence, nuclear energy sectors

New Delhi: The road blocks for Indian and French military forces to use each other’s bases, have been cleared. An important treaty was signed to this effect between the two countries. The treaty gains importance against the background of the increased Chinese challenges in the Indo-Pacific region. India has already signed a similar treaty with the United States.

India-FrancePrime Minister Narendra Modi and the visiting French President Emmanuel Macron had bilateral talks on Saturday. 14 treaties in the nuclear energy, defence and space sectors were signed after this. These include a very important treaty regarding the provision of ‘logistic support’ to each other’s defence forces. The Prime Minister referred to this treaty as a golden step in the defence co-operation between the two countries.

Macron met President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Modi, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and many other important leaders on Saturday. The Indian Prime Minister and Macron had bilateral discussions about varied international and regional issues in their meeting. In their joint statement both leaders have sent a clear message to China by stating that the sea routes are no place for a show of strength.

Prime Minister Modi and President Macron announced the decision to work jointly against terrorism as also to increase the Indo-Pacific cooperation. The Indian Prime Minister said at this time that this decision taken by the two countries will prove to be very important from the point of view of regional peace and stability.

The Prime Minister underlined the Indo-French relations with his words by saying, ‘The strategic co-operation between India and France is 20 years old. But the cultural cooperation goes back to centuries. Both the countries have a rich and strong heritage. There is Indo-French cooperation everywhere, on Land, Sea and in the Sky. France is one of the most trusted Indian allies.’

It is reported that there were discussions about the Scorpene submarines and the Rafael fighter jets being manufactured in India with French cooperation. Treaties about the 9900 MW nuclear power plant, exchange of confidential information and cooperation for control of smuggling of narcotics, were also signed. Memorandums of Understanding were also signed in the sectors of Education, Environment, Urban development and Railway Development.