India and France hold FOC, review ongoing strategic partnership between two countries
India and France also enjoy close cooperation at multilateral and plurilateral forums
Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Tuesday held Foreign Office Consultations with Secretary General of France’s Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs Francois Delatte and took stock of the wide-ranging strategic partnership between the two countries.
In his opening remarks, Foreign Secretary Shringla said this FOC comes close at the heels of a very fruitful visit by Florence Parly, Minister for Armed Forces of France on December 17 to hold the third annual Defence Dialogue with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
Before this, the Foreign Secretary said, “We had held consultations in Paris on October 30, 2020 where we had exchanged perspectives on the Covid-19 pandemic and geo-political changes at a global and regional level. We had also discussed in detail various facets of bilateral cooperation including in the areas of space and energy and reviewed the progress made in other dialogue mechanisms between the two sides.”
“We had also exchanged notes on our close cooperation in multilateral and plurilateral fora, be it the UNSC or trilateral cooperation. This helped us prepare for India’s term as a non-permanent member of the UNSC where India and France have worked in very close coordination,” Shringla added.
The Foreign Secretary further said that following the fruitful discussions last year, several high-level interactions took place in 2021 that included three ministerial visits from France to India, including those of Barbara Pompili, Minister for Ecological Transition in January, Jean-Yves Le Drian, Foreign Minister in April and most recently the Defence Minister.
Besides these, several dialogues at the working level have also been held over the year, including the 34th and 35th editions of the Strategic Dialogue in January in New Delhi and in November in Paris, respectively, Joint Working Group on Environment in January, among others.