Indo-French links without sudden changes and surprises, France Key Defense Partner: Jaishankar
India’s relations with France are based on a great sense of trust and it is a relationship that has been free from sudden changes and surprises seen in other cases, said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar . In an address to a think tank in Paris, Jaishankar said India and France intend to create better options for countries in the Indo-Pacific region and enable them to make sovereign and free choices. for they should neither be subject to domination nor caught in a binary power rivalry.
The foreign minister said New Delhi looks forward to France as a key partner in defense and industry and that “ambitious ideas” for collaborative defense projects in India are in the pipeline. study that will also support common interests in the Indo-Pacific. said India sees France as a trusted collaborator in addressing security challenges from seabed to space and from cyber to oceans.
“Through the tumult of our times, India’s relations with France have continued to advance on a steady and clear course. It’s a relationship that has been free from sudden changes and surprises that we sometimes see in other cases,” Jaishankar told the French Institute of International Relations on Tuesday. “In India, there is a great sense of trust in the relationship. It is deeply institutionalized and enjoys a strong political consensus on its importance. I believe we have seen the same thing here in France,” he said.
Diving into the finer aspects of the ties, Jaishankar said France has never been shy about expressing its own positions on key issues and its lack of dogmatism has helped build a strong partnership with a rising power like the India. “We saw that, for example, when it came to a complex issue like India’s integration into the global nuclear order,” he said. Jaishankar said France also had an important influence in shaping India’s strategic thinking, particularly its nuclear force posture. “Indeed, the very concept of credible minimum deterrence emerged from the lessons of the French experience. Not only that, after the 1998 nuclear tests, France was the first nuclear power to show an understanding of our strategic imperatives,” did he declare.
He also said that French support played an important role in India obtaining an exemption from the Nuclear Suppliers Group in 2008 to resume international cooperation in the field of civilian nuclear energy. Referring to the Indo-Pacific region, Jaishankar said developments in this region and the resulting regional order will have a direct impact across the world, including in Europe. “What is at stake is the credibility of a rules-based order and the effectiveness of the international system. India is at the strategic center of this region; France represents its two bookends with a vast EEZ (exclusive economic zones),” he said. The foreign minister said India considers France a resident power in the Indo-Pacific region, vital for its peace and stability.
“We both seek a free, open and inclusive region. And, we both have multiple and interconnected partnerships with a positive agenda to address challenges and advance stability and security in the region,” he said. Describing France as an “important bridge” between India and the European Union, Jaishankar said a major expectation today is France’s support for the launch of negotiations between India and the EU on the trade and investments. He said there are two areas of national interest for India in which India is looking forward to France as a key partner. “One is in the field of defense and security. We see France as a trusted collaborator in addressing security challenges from the seabed to space, from cyber to the oceans,” he said. a sense of urgency and priority. “In this, we are inspired by the national self-sufficiency that France has itself built. Naturally, given the history of our defense partnership, we are exploring ambitious ideas for collaborative projects in India. This will support our common interests in the Indo-Pacific region as well,” he said. “The other area is the transformation of our industrial sector. Like France, India too has seen its industrial base eroded, and like France, we are determined to restore it, in particular by focusing on the industries of the future. The Indian economy is experiencing a strong rebound, with growth of 9.2%,” he added. Jaishankar said political comfort and trust in the relationship added to India’s attractiveness to French companies.
“Our partnership program is really extensive. So whether it is India’s national transformation agenda, or the future of the Indo-Pacific region and its maritime commons, the advancement of plurilateralism or the reform of multilateralism , or the resolution of global challenges, we are counting on France among our most important partners,” he said.
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