PM Modi likely to visit France during his Europe trip in May
Ahead of the visit by Prime Minister Modi’s visit, French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will be in India in the second week of April
A testimony to growing strategic ties with France including its collaboration in Indo-Pacific region, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to visit France in May in the second leg of his tour to Europe for attending the India-EU summit, a report in Wion said.
Prime Minister Modi will visit Portugal for the India-EU summit on May 8, the report informed.
Ahead of Prime Minister Modi’s visit, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will be in India from April 13 to 15. He is expected to participate in the Raisina Dialogue and India-France-Australia foreign ministers trilateral meet, it added.
The foreign ministers of India, France and Australia will hold a trilateral dialogue in New Delhi on 13 April where they are likely to discuss steps to strengthen maritime security and collaborate on shared challenges in the Indo-Pacific region.
Modi’s visit takes place at a time when Paris and New Delhi have recently increased engagement at multiple levels including cooperation in Covid-19 related-issues and defence ties. The Indian Prime Minister had last visited France in 2019 as French President Emmanuel Macron's invitee for the G7 summit in Biarritz.
Hinting at a robust bilateral defence partnership with France, Indian ships will be a part of France-led La Perouse exercises in the Bay of Bengal from April 5-7. The exercise will involve France plus Quad naval ships coming together for the first time.
Also, France has also delivered 21 out of 36 contracted Rafale jets to India and more deliveries are likely to follow in April and May.
Continuing with India's Europe focus in the coming months, Modi is also expected to visit Denmark for the second India-Nordic summit, the Wion report said. India is also enhancing its ties with the UK, it added.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is slated to visit India on April 26, while Prime Minister Modi will be in the UK for the G7 summit from June 11-13, the report noted.
The Indian Prime Minister has also been invited for the United Nations Climate Change Conference summit that will take place in Glasgow in November, it further said.