India, France pledge stability for Indo-Pacific region

India and France reaffirmed their commitment to building one of the premier strategic partnerships for advancing peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.

In a joint statement following the talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and France President Emmanuel Macron on May 4, the Ministry of External Affairs said, "They share a vision of a free, open and rules-based Indo-Pacific region, based on a commitment to international law, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, freedom of navigation and a region free from coercion, tensions and conflicts." Indo-France Indo-Pacific partnership encompasses defence and security, trade, investment, connectivity, health and sustainability.

India and France also expressed serious concern about the humanitarian situation and violation of human rights in Afghanistan while calling for an inclusive and representative government in the country.

Taking forward the "great" tradition of over 60 years of technical and scientific space cooperation, India and France have agreed on setting up a bilateral strategic dialogue to address the contemporary challenges that have arisen in space, in particular, maintaining its secure access.

"India and France have agreed on setting up a bilateral strategic dialogue on space issues," read a joint statement by the Ministry of External Affairs after the talks between the two countries during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit. This dialogue will see the corroboration of various experts from space and defence agencies. Furthermore, the first India-France strategic dialogue on space issues will be held in 2022 at the earliest.

"It will bring together experts from space and defence agencies, administration and specialised ecosystem to discuss security and economic challenges in outer space, the norms and principles applicable to space as well as unveil new areas of cooperation. The two sides agreed to hold the first dialogue this year at the earliest," the statement added.

(ANI)

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