Emmanuel Macron meets PM Modi: $16-bn deals signed

A "Joint Strategic Vision of India-France Cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region" was also agreed upon by both countries in order to maintain the safety of global sea lanes for unimpeded commerce and communications in accordance with the worldwide law, for countering maritime terrorism and piracy, for building maritime domain awareness, for capacity building and for greater coordination in regional/international fora in the region.

"Our defence cooperation is very strong and we consider France among the most trusted defence partners", Modi said in a statement to the media, in the presence of Macron.

Tucked in among the 14 pacts signed between the two countries as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron watched on was a bold new vision for space co-operation.

Commenting on the defence cooperation between the two countries, the Prime Minister said, "Today the agreement of reciprocal logistics support between our armies is considered a golden step in the history of our close defense cooperation". "Second, both of us believe that in future the Indian Ocean region will play a very important role in the happiness, progress and prosperity of the world".

"We are in the middle of revolution on digital era and climate change". Earlier on Saturday morning, Macron and his wife Brigitte arrived at the Rashtrapati Bhawan and the French President inspected the guard of honour. The Indian Air Force has also been favouring procurement of more Rafale from France.

The Indian community, including NRIs in mainland France number around 1.1 lakh people; largely originating from French enclaves of Puducherry, Karaikal, Yanam, Mahe and Chandernagore. Defence cooperation between the two countries now has a new significance, the French President said.

Korea rejects U.S. call to discard nuclear weapons before talks
There are also signs that Pyongyang intends to buy time to complete nuclear and missile programmes. The Maritime Self-Defence Force has carried out surveillance activities to combat smuggling.

The nuclear agreement is considered significant, with critics saying that Jaitpur, the site of the six-unit plant, which is to generate 9,900 megawatts of power in western India, is in a seismic zone.

"The second goal of this trip is to organise this International Solar Alliance (conference)", he said.

Modi said that India and France have taken a big leap forward in ties.

India says that access to solar technology is becoming a reality, with costs coming down and grid connectivity improving.

France is the ninth-largest foreign investor in India. Our bilateral trade of about US$ 11 billion is far below potential.

Macron will then go to Derek helipad from where he and Modi, who is also the Lok Sabha member from Varanasi, will drive to Assi Ghat on the banks of the holy river Ganga.

  • Sonia Alvarado