New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a bilateral meeting over lunch with the President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron during the G-20 Leaders’ Summit in New Delhi.
The two leaders discussed, assessed and reviewed the progress in bilateral relations since their last meeting in July, 2023 in Paris. They also exchanged views on important international and regional developments. The External Affair Ministry said that the President Macron’s visit to India comes after the historic visit of Prime Minister Modi to Paris on July 13-14 as the Guest of Honour on the occasion of French National Day on 14 July 2023 commemorating the 25th anniversary of the India-France strategic partnership.
Acknowledging the strength of India France partnership, founded in deep trust, shared values, belief in sovereignty and strategic autonomy, a resolute commitment to international law and principles enshrined in the UN Charter, an abiding faith in multilateralism and a mutual pursuit of a stable multi-polar world, both leaders emphasised the need to expand their collaboration to address regional and global challenges.
They reiterated their unwavering commitment to collectively serve as a force of good, carrying the message of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ that is ‘one earth, one family, one future’, during tumultuous times reshaping the global order, the External Affair Ministry added.
“With the ‘Horizon 2047’ Roadmap, the Indo-Pacific Roadmap and other outcomes during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit serving as recent points of reference, the two leaders discussed overall progress and next steps on the implementation of the new and ambitious goals for cooperation in areas of defense, space, nuclear energy, digital public infrastructure, critical technology, climate change, education, and people-to-people contacts. They also carried forward their discussions on India-France partnership in the Indo Pacific region and Africa, including in infrastructure, connectivity, energy, biodiversity, sustainability and industrial projects. They underlined their role of providers of solutions for the Indo-Pacific through their cooperation in the framework of the International Solar Alliance, launched by India and France, and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.”
President Macron congratulated Prime Minister Modi on India’s success of Mission Chandrayaan 3.
The two leaders recalled six decades of India-France Space cooperation and reviewed the progress since holding of the first Strategic Space Dialogue in June 2023.
They acknowledged the strong India-France civil nuclear ties, good progress in the discussion for the Jaitapur nuclear plant project and welcomed the continuing engagement of both sides to expand bilateral cooperation to establish a partnership for co-developing SMR and AMR technologies as well as the forthcoming signature of a dedicated declaration of intent.
France reiterated its steadfast and unwavering support for India’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the ministry of external affair added.
According to the joint statement, both leaders reiterated their commitment to strengthen the defence cooperation through partnership in design, development, testing and manufacture of advanced defence technologies and platforms, and expand production in India, including for third countries in Indo-Pacific and beyond. In this context, they also called for early finalisation of the Defence Industrial Roadmap.
Laying emphasis on areas such as digital, science, technological innovation, education, culture, health and environment cooperation, both leaders called for strengthening of institutional linkages in these domains, on the model of the Indo-French Campus for the Indo-Pacific.
In this context, they also reaffirmed commitment to expand cultural exchanges and work together in development of museums, the joint statement read.
Prime Minister Modi thanked President Macron for France’s continued support to India’s Presidency of G-20, which had advanced inclusiveness, unity and cohesion in international efforts to address global challenges and build a more stable global order.
India and France also welcomed African Union’s membership to the G-20 and look to work with AU, for the progress, prosperity and development of Africa, the official added.
G20 not a forum for discussing security issues, its focus is economy, says Macron
Meanwhile, as the Ukraine conflict got "watered down" in diplomatic jargon in the Delhi Declaration adopted at the G20 summit, French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday said that the grouping was not a forum for political discussions.
He, however, added that a vast majority of G20 countries condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Speaking after meeting prime minister Narendra Modi at a luncheon meeting, Macron noted that the G20 should not get stuck on these issues, while referring to the Ukraine conflict.
The G20 summit was committed to just and lasting peace in Ukraine, he added.
The summit talked about upholding principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, Macron said.
"The G20 summit has sent across a message of unity," he noted.
"The core business of this forum is economy and coordination on the global affairs. The core business is not stability, security and peace. We should not stop everything if we disagree on one or two topics. (Russia's) President (Vladimir) Putin is not here because he is sanctioned by a lot of us and for good reasons. I think what's happening is very grave and concerning for everybody," Macron said.
Praising India's presidency, Macron said that considering the current fragmented environment, India has done well as G20 President.
"I think we (India-France) have a strong bilateral partnership. We had a very strong defence partnership and we strengthened this partnership, especially during the past two years. The visit of your PM during our Bastille Day, was a very critical moment. French people were very proud and they felt the friendship and respect for your country. We will follow up on defence, we will develop and deploy on all the different parts of our defence roadmap, additional contracts and procurements in days to come," he said.
On the forthcoming Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group, which are scheduled to held next month, Macron said: "Next the IMF, we expect some greater commitments by the emerging countries when it comes to restructuring the debt of African countries. We stand ready to do more. And we said it today. So it is the very same agenda, greater financing, mobilisation around the world. France upgraded its commitments and we reached 0.5 per cent of our GDP allocated to development projects. And we also want the same to happen at the international level.
"And this is the reason why we're committed to the replenishment of IFAD - The International Fund for Agricultural Development. And the meeting will be taking place in December."
"A very productive lunch meeting with President @EmmanuelMacron. We discussed a series of topics and look forward to ensuring India-France relations scale new heights of progress," Modi posted on X after meeting Macron.