Paris/New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who is in Paris, held wide ranging talks with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian focusing on bilateral cooperation, on Ukraine and the Indo-Pacific that reflected their deep trust and global partnership.
In a tweet, the EAM said on Sunday that he also looks forward to participating in the EU Ministerial Forum on the Indo-Pacific, being convened by France on Tuesday.
“Held wide-ranging and productive talks with FM @JY_LeDrian. “Discussions on bilateral cooperation, Ukraine situation, Indo-Pacific and JCPOA reflected our deep trust & global partnership.
“Look forward to participating in EU Ministerial Forum on Indo- Pacific.” During the talks, the two sides also adopted the India-France Roadmap on the Blue Economy and Ocean Governance. He will also meet French Defence Minister Florence Parly.
A readout of the talks, said that both Ministers appreciated the close cooperation between India and France during the Covid-19 pandemic and agreed to further deepen the Strategic Partnership, particularly in the areas of trade and investments, defence and security, health, education, research and innovation, energy and climate change.
As part of this endeavour, both sides adopted the “India-France Roadmap on the Blue Economy and Ocean Governance”, which aims to enhance partnership in the field of blue economy by way of institutional, economic, infrastructural and scientific cooperation. With the goal of further facilitating people-to-people contact, the two Ministers also agreed to continue and enhance their cooperation in the field of sports and agreed to soon conclude a Joint Declaration of Intent in the Area of Sports.
Additionally, they agreed to strengthen the long standing cooperation on public administration and administrative reforms between the relevant authorities in India and France.
The two ministers also discussed key regional and global issues, particularly the India-EU relationship and the priorities of the French Presidency of the EU Council that began on January 1, 2022.
In this context, the EAM appreciated the French initiative of hosting an EU Ministerial Forum on Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific on February 22, where he will participate along with several other Ministers from Indo-Pacific and EU countries. They also agreed to intensify India-EU ties under the French Presidency, and the need to begin negotiations on the India-EU Free Trade and Investment Agreements and implement the India-EU Connectivity Partnership.
In the context of the EU Ministerial Forum, the two Ministers agreed to jointly launch the Indo-French call for an “Indo-Pacific Parks Partnership” during the EU Forum on February 22. This Partnership aims to build capacities in the Indo-Pacific region, in terms of sustainable management of protected areas, by gathering and sharing the experiences and expertise that exist in the Region among key Indo-Pacific public and private natural park managers.
The two Ministers also exchanged perspectives on the situation in Afghanistan, JCPOA (Iran nuclear agreement) and the evolving situation in Ukraine. They reiterated their shared commitment to the principles of multilateralism and a rules-based order, and agreed to coordinate in the UN Security Council on issues of mutual concern.
The EAM will also hold meetings with other French dignitaries, EU Commissioners, as well as with his counterparts from other Indo-Pacific countries participating in the EU Indo-Pacific Forum. The EAM will also give an address at the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI).