Prime Minister Narendra Modi met French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday and discussed issues of international and mutual interests, including ways to enhance strategic ties, countering terrorism and climate change. Modi vowed to go “above and beyond” the Paris accord to combat climate change.
The two leaders met at the Elysee Palace, the official residence of the President of France.
Modi arrived in France from Russia, where he held talks with President Vladimir Putin and attended an international economic forum. Before Russia, Modi also visited Germany and Spain and held talks with the top leadership there.
The two sides also issued a joint declaration after the Modi-Macron meeting.
Just two days after the US announced its withdrawal from the global deal on curbing carbon emissions, Modi said it was “part of the world’s shared heritage” and that India would “continue working on this… above and beyond the Paris accord”.
President Macron, meanwhile, said France fully supports India’s fight against terrorism.
Prime Minister Modi said India and France “enjoy deep-rooted ties”. “Our nations have been working together for a very long time, bilaterally and multilaterally,” he said.
“Be it trade and technology, innovation and investment, energy, education and enterprise, we want to give a boost to India-France ties,” Modi said.
Modi said the two countries will make efforts to improve cultural relations.
“We want to improve cultural relations between India and France. Several Indians fought in the first two world wars for world peace,” he said.
Ahead of the visit, Prime Minister Modi said, “I would be exchanging views with the French President on important global issues including UN Security Council reforms and India’s permanent membership of the UN Security Council, India’s membership of the various multilateral export control regimes, counter-terrorism cooperation, collaboration on climate change and International Solar Alliance.”
France is India’s 9th largest investment partner. France is also a key partner in India’s development initiatives in areas like defense, space, nuclear and renewable energy, urban development and railways.
Prime Minister Modi had also called up Macron to congratulate him on his poll victory and said he looked forward to work with him to further deepen the bilateral ties. The 39-year-old Macron created history last month by becoming the youngest president of France.
PM Modi also thanked Macron for accompanying him to the Arc de Triomphe to pay homage to Indian soldiers.