India, France Ink 14 Pacts To Boost Security, Nuclear Energy

Saul Bowman
March 11, 2018

French President Macron will be accorded ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhawan in the morning.

The "Joint Strategic Vision of India-France Cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region" is similar to the agreement signed with the United States in January 2015, a message for China, as the two countries will work to "maintain the safety of global sea lanes for unimpeded commerce and communications in accordance with the worldwide law", in a region that is increasingly becoming an area of contestation with China, from Seychelles and Mauritius to Sri Lanka.

Addressing a joint conference with Macron, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the two countries have robust cooperation in the fields of defence and security. Besides nuclear energy and defence, space is another vital area of the strategic partnership between India and France. "They were greedy", the French President said.

He also laid importance on the strategic partnership between the two countries, which has crossed 20 years old.

Macron's visit comes after a somewhat misstep-laden visit to India by Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau.

For perhaps the first time in India's rich space-faring history, human space flight finds mention in any bilateral joint statement.

France has three Indian Ocean territories - Reunion, Mayotte and the French Southern and Antarctic Lands - comprising a total of nearly 1 million French citizens.

He finally concluded by saying that for the sake of Earth's future, India and France were committed to the success of the International Solar Conference (ISA).

"The understanding is based on the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act 2010, the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Rules 2011, and compliance of India's rules and regulations with the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage, ratified and notified to the IAEA", the statement said. The opposition has grown since Japan's nuclear accident in 2011, with several villagers refusing to hand over their land to the Indian government for the project. "There is a bipartisan agreement about bilateral relations between the two countries", Prime Minister Modi stated.

On Sunday, Macron will attend a solar power summit created to showcase India and France's commitment to fighting climate change, which both leaders have made a priority.

India says that access to solar technology is becoming a reality, with costs coming down and grid connectivity improving. The primary objective of the alliance is to work for efficient exploitation of solar energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

France is the ninth-largest foreign investor in India.

"Both sides noted with satisfaction the growth in bilateral trade during the recent period, and expressed their desire that this momentum be sustained with the aim of raising trade in goods to 15 billion euros by 2022", the statement said.

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