India and France on Saturday reaffirmed their strategic relationship ranging from terrorism to global warming, from maritime security to sustainable development as Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla emphasised the importance of France as a steadfast friend across several domains.
Sources said that Shringla also emphasised that terrorism and the radicalism that gives rise to it are the most chilling form of censorship. “The events of the past week in Paris and Nice have been horrific. India stands by France. We can’t pretend such actions come from simply lone-wolf initiatives & misguided individuals. It has the backing of states and organised institutions, sources said and added, “You know who they are. We cannot and should not postpone a coordinated and definitive response,” Sources said.
During his visit, Shringla met a cross-section of leading French academia, media and thinktankers and according to sources, there was great interest in the strengthening dynamics of the India-France strategic relationship and called France as a steadfast friend across many domains.
“From terrorism to global warming, from maritime security to sustainable development, from norms-based international institutions to technology and innovation, we are inevitably on the same side of the court,” Sources added.
Sources added that while multilateralism needs to be reformed and upgraded, its “hard-won” gains must be nourished. “As instinctive multilateralists, India and France have to shoulder responsibilities together, especially at the United Nations Security Council where we will work together,” it said.
Shringla held a dialogue with Francois Delattre, France’s Secretary-General of the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs on Friday.
Shringla on Friday had a meeting with Alice Guitton, France’s Director-General of International Relations and Strategy (DGRIS), wherein they discussed Indo-Pacific region and maritime security, defence partnership and regional security cooperation.
“Foreign Secretary @harshvshringla had a productive meeting with Alice Guitton, Director General, DGRIS with discussions on Indo-Pacific region & maritime security, defence partnership & regional security cooperation,” Indian embassy here tweeted.
His visit comes at a time when the US is reeling under terrorist attacks and tensions are high in the European country.
Shringla will leave for Germany and the United Kingdom. France, Germany and the UK are strategic partners of India and are nations with which India has close and well-established relations.