India, France discuss Ukraine crisis, terrorism, Afghanistan: Key points from joint statement

India, France discuss Ukraine crisis, terrorism, Afghanistan: Key points from joint statement

A joint statement issued by India and France after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with President Emmanuel Macron expressed “serious concern” over the Russia-Ukraine conflict. India and France have also agreed to unitedly deal with the menace of terrorism and the challenges in the Indo-Pacific, amid China flexing muscles in the strategically vital region.

France reiterated its commitment to support India’s bid for permanent membership in a reformed UN Security Council and New Delhi’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group.

Here are key takeaways from India-France joint statement:

> The two countries are committed to the shared values of democracy, fundamental freedoms, rule of law and respect for human rights. It noted that India and France have built one of the premier strategic partnerships for advancing peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.

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.

> India and France reaffirmed their commitment to deepen the India-European Union Strategic Partnership and look forward to working closely together in the implementation of the India-EU Connectivity Partnership and the decisions made at the India-EU Leaders’ Meeting in Porto in Portugal in May 2021.

> France and India expressed serious concern over the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. They unequivocally condemned civilian deaths in Ukraine and called for an immediate cessation of hostilities to bring parties together to promote dialogue and diplomacy to find an immediate end to the suffering of the people. Both countries underlined the need to respect the UN Charter, international law and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states.

> France and India expressed deep concern about the current aggravation of global food security and nutrition, already impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, and especially in developing countries. They are committed to enabling a coordinated, multilateral response to address the risk of aggravated food crisis because of the conflict in Ukraine, including through initiatives such as the Food and Agriculture Resilience Mission (FARM), which aims at ensuring well-functioning markets, solidarity and long term resilience.

> On Afghanistan, the two nations expressed serious concern on the humanitarian situation and violation of human rights and reiterated strong support for a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan, emphasising respect for its sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity and non-interference in its internal affairs. They called for an inclusive and representative government, and respect for the rights of women, children and minorities.

> Seven years after the adoption of the Paris Agreement and the joint launch of the International Solar Alliance, India and France’s commitment to tackle climate change is stronger than ever, both in mitigation and adaptation. As renewable energy development is one of the key solutions for this transition, France and India reiterate their continued support for the objectives of the International Solar Alliance. France and India also agreed to explore opportunities to jointly work on just energy transition pathways including under G7 to accelerate the deployment of renewables and access to affordable and sustainable energy.

> Both sides welcomed the ongoing intense cooperation across all defence domains. Joint exercises (Shakti, Varuna, Pegase, Desert Knight, Garuda) illustrate efforts towards better integration and interoperability wherever possible.

> Modi invited Macron to visit India at his earliest convenience to hold detailed discussions on the areas of cooperation outlined during the visit and to finalise the modalities of realising the goals thus identified.

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