India and France expanded their strategic ties by inking 14 pacts while President Emmanuel Macron was on a four-day visit to India. The pacts included concentration on key areas of defence protection of classified information, nuclear energy and security. The two countries also resolved to deepen their cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region and pledge to stop terrorism together.
They spoke extensively and one of the major were of interdependence between the armed forces of the two countries on which PM Modi said “Our defence cooperation is very strong and we consider France among the most trusted defence partners,” He also added that the logistic support between the armed forces of the two nations was a ‘golden step’ in defence relations.
There has also been an agreement to strengthen the Indo-French cooperation by ensuring freedom of navigation, over-flight since the Indian Ocean plays a key role in ensuring regional peace and stability. While talking about the “new significance” that the two countries have now, Macron said "India had made a sovereign decision in this respect (Rafale fighter jet) and we are monitoring the progress in the field. We very much want to continue the programme. It is a long-term contract which is mutually beneficial. I personally consider it as the heart of the strategic partnership."
The French President also added that both countries will ensure maritime security by having joint monitoring mechanism for developments in the maritime sphere and shall call their respective military bases in case of emergency.