New Delhi, March 10: Though the strategic partnership between India and France is just over two decades old, the spiritual relationship binds the two old civilisations for centuries now. PM Modi rightly said, "Liberty, equality and fraternity not only echo in France, but are also deeply embedded in India's constitution."
The two governments are trying their level best to bring the youth of the two countries together as nothing can beat the people-to-people contact.
China is in the core of the primary concern for both India and France and this brings the two countries further closer strategically:
1. No doubt the Belt and Road Initiative is of prime concern for India but it is equally worrying for France as it has its equities in the Indian Ocean. The Eurasian component of China’s BRI affects France because the 16+1initiative incorporating East European and Balkan countries will eventually be at EU’s cost.
2. French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday rightly said that India is the best strategic partner for France and the entry point to Europe.
3. If at all China succeeds in changing the power balance with the US in the western Pacific, a weak US will be a cause of concern for Europe too because the Transatlantic alliance will feel the impact.
4. In the Defence sector France has decided investments under Make In India programme, which is a big boost fo India.
5. Emmanuel Macron has said that he heralds a new era in the India-France Strategic Partnership in terms of defence and security, in terms of research and science, especially in terms of our youth, higher education and science.
6. Organising International Solar Alliance conference will benefit India and France. The founding summit of the International Solar Alliance will bring India and Europe further closer on climate change, an issue with huge political support within the EU.
7. France should be the best partner for India, especially in Europe, the entry point for Europe.
8.This is also to encourage Indian citizens coming to France studying, becoming a partner, creating start-ups. France promises to be India's best partner in Europe.
9. Changes in Europe are rapid post-Brexit. Britain’s role is set to decline within Europe. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing arough patch on home-front. All this is helping French President Macron to emerge as a de facto European leader.
10. Some further movement on the Jaitapur nuclear power project is also expected.