He referred to collaboration in UN Security Council and issues like terrorism and on Afghanistan

Though we are located in different parts of the world, on the big issues of the day, India and France think on similar Iines, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Thursday.

Jaishankar was speaking at a virtual event ‘The French Presidency: EU-India Partnership in the Indo Pacific’ organised by ORF along with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

“Yesterday, we saw the French aircraft flying at the finale of the Republic Day Parade. I mention this because it is a visible example of the strategic ties between India and France," the Minister added.

Jaishankar reminded how the India-France relationship has ‘steadily matured.’

“This is a relationship which has steadily matured, that it goes back to several decades, but also has grown decade by decade,” the Minister stated.

After India’s Nuclear Tests, France was the earliest P-5 countries with whom India engaged in a positive format and with the passage of time it has grown stronger, he informed.

“The India-France relationship has grown in multiple ways including in defence, nuclear, space. In each of these areas, France has been India’s longstanding partner, a good partner and a reliable partner and a one with whom it is the desire of our government to grow the relationship and take it to higher levels,” Jaishankar mentioned.

Noting that the India-France partnership is not only limited to narrow bilateral arena, he said that their collaboration in UN Security council and on big issues of the day like terrorism and on Afghanistan point that relations go beyond the bilateral sphere.

“I would suggest to you, though we are located in different parts of the world on the big issues of the day, it is interesting how similar our thinking is and that to my view is a very strong force that impels closer our partnership,” the EAM said.

Though he stressed upon strategic, political issues, he said it could also be cultural, social, economic, and technological and business ties that nurture our relations, he added.

“Today, the relationship that otherwise is an extremely important relationship for us, acquires an additional facet as France assumes the Presidency of the European Union,” Jaishankar said.

He also pointed out that France is the Chair of the Indian Ocean Commission as well as the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium.

“So given the India-France connect and reckoning that France has an interest and a presence on both ends of the Ocean- Western Indian Ocean and the South Pacific and have a very much a Indian Ocean resident presence, strengthening this partnership and focusing it on Indo-Pacific has been timely,” the Indian Minister observed.