India and France Unite for Robust Collaboration in the Southwest Indian Ocean
India and France have embarked on a path of enhanced cooperation in the Southwest Indian Ocean, marking a significant stride forward from their joint surveillance missions conducted from the French territory of La Reunion in 2020 and 2022. The collaborative efforts between the two nations, as highlighted in the India-France Joint Statement following French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to India for Republic Day celebrations, signify a mutual commitment to bolstering security and stability in the region.
Underpinning their collaboration is a shared vision for the Indo-Pacific, emphasizing the strategic importance of this maritime domain to their sovereign interests. Prime Minister Modi and President Macron reiterated their dedication to strengthening the enduring partnership between both recognizing its pivotal role in advancing a free, open, inclusive, secure, and peaceful Indo-Pacific.
The leaders underscored the significance of the Comprehensive Roadmap for the Indo-Pacific, finalized in July 2023, as a framework guiding their expanding engagement in the region. Central to their cooperation is the defense and security partnership, which encompasses a broad spectrum of bilateral, multinational, regional, and institutional initiatives, particularly within the Indian Ocean Region.
Moreover, PM Modi and President Macron pledged to revitalize trilateral cooperation with Australia, deepen ties with the UAE, and explore additional partnerships in the region. They emphasized the importance of joint and multilateral initiatives in promoting sustainable economic development, human welfare, environmental sustainability, resilient infrastructure, innovation, and connectivity.
In this vein, the leaders instructed their respective governments to identify concrete projects and expedite the establishment of the Indo-Pacific Triangular Development Cooperation Fund to facilitate the deployment of green technologies. They also committed to coordinating economic projects and programs in the Pacific, acknowledging the significant contributions of the French Development Agency in India.
Recalling the launch of the India-Middle East-Europe Corridor (IMEC) during the G20 Summit in Delhi in September 2023, PM Modi and President Macron hailed this initiative’s strategic significance in enhancing commerce and energy flows between India, the Middle East, and Europe. They welcomed the appointment of a Special Envoy by President Macron for the IMEC project and agreed to explore additional connectivity projects spanning Southeast Asia to the Middle East and Africa.
Furthermore, the leaders reiterated their call for reformed and effective multilateralism to address global challenges and adapt to emerging developments. They emphasized the urgent need for reforming the United Nations Security Council and expressed support for bharat’s permanent membership. Additionally, they advocated for discussions on regulating the use of the veto in cases of mass atrocities, underscoring the imperative of a fair and equitable international order.
Recognizing the vital role of Multilateral Development Banks in fostering development and addressing climate issues, PM Modi and President Macron welcomed the recommendations put forth by the Independent Expert Group under the Indian G20 Presidency. They highlighted the enhanced cooperation between the Paris Club and bharat in official debt restructuring cases as a testament to their commitment to sustainable development.
In conclusion, the intensified cooperation between both in the Southwest Indian Ocean heralds a new chapter in their strategic partnership, underpinned by shared values and a commitment to advancing peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.
In the realm of sustainable development and climate action, the two nations are poised to play a pivotal role in driving innovation and promoting green technologies. Through initiatives like the Indo-Pacific Triangular Development Cooperation Fund, they seek to catalyze investments in clean energy, sustainable infrastructure, and environmental conservation, thereby addressing pressing challenges such as climate change and environmental degradation.
Furthermore, the commitment to reformed multilateralism reflects a shared vision for a more inclusive and effective global governance architecture. By advocating for the reform of institutions like the United Nations Security Council and Multilateral Development Banks, both seek to ensure that the voices and aspirations of all nations, particularly those from the Global South, are duly represented and considered in decision-making processes.
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