French President Emmanuel Macron his hosting a working lunch for Prime Minister Narendra Modi tomorrow as closest allies deepen bilateral cooperation from seabed to space.
According to sources based in Bali and New Delhi, President Macron and PM Modi will discuss the Ukraine war as both have been constantly in touch on how to end the war and pave way for peace in Europe. Both the leaders have also been talking to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine President V. Zelenskyy on phone to give peace a chance as the war stretches on to ninth month with no resolution in sight.
While there is a possibility of a close ally of both India and France in Middle-East joining the lunch, the two leaders will discuss Indo-Pacific with President Macron committed to strengthening India’s strategic autonomy. This translates into further intensification of defence ties between the two close allies as President Macron is all for PM Modi’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat vision. India and France are now looking towards defence joint ventures based in India for manufacturing high end platforms from aircraft engines to long range submarines with a vision of exporting to allies like Indonesia and Philippines.
While the two leaders will be discussing pressing issues of terrorism, alternate global supply chains and climate change, India and France are forging trilateral relationships with close allies like Australia, United Arab Emirates, and Island countries in Far Pacific. The French strategic document on Indo-Pacific places India at the center of bilateral partnership as President Macron wants India to be the key to the Indo-Pacific challenge. After hosting lunch for PM Modi, President Macron will meet Anthony Albanese, Prime Minister of Australia as both countries are reviving ties post AUKUS hurdle.
The bilateral meeting with President Macron comes after Indian Air Force hosted Garuda air exercises in Rajasthan sector this month and Army Chief Gen Manoj Pandey is currently on a three day visit to France. While French Defence Minister is coming to India later this month, Gen Pandey will be paying homage to the unknown soldier at Arc de Triomphe tomorrow along with French Army Chief.
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