India-France Relations: India has now emerged as one of the most important global players. In the past 8 years, India has taken geopolitical decisions following the realist approach. Not even a decade with a powerful leader in the house, the nation has reached its zenith and the major credit goes to the influential leadership of PM Modi. Along with gaining the relevance in major regions of the world, India is also focused in strengthening its ties with the European nations. While dealing with EU, India is building bilateral ties with individual nations of Europe. But the most important among them is the relations of India with France.
India-France Relations – Strategic Partners
According to the reports, India and France are to hold 36th Strategic Dialogue today. The process started in 1998 is to be held in New Delhi. In a statement, MEA said,”Ajit Doval, National Security Advisor will lead the Indian delegation while the French delegation will be led by Emmanuel Bonne, Diplomatic Advisor to the French President.”
As per reports, it is expected that both the sides will take an assessment of their overall security cooperation. With the help of allies like France, India is now looking forward to be self-reliant in military and hardware platform. With 100 per cent technology transfer to make aircraft engines, India is further eyeing for designing and development of next generation high powered civil and military engines for transport and defense purpose.
During the bipolar politics of cold war, India opted to be neutral and resulted in strengthening its ties with US and developed friendly relations with the USSR. This finds resonance in the current foreign policy in a more dignified way. While there are many instances of conflict of interest with countries like US and UK, France has always been an important ally.
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France was the one among the few countries which did not criticise India’s nuclear (India-France Relations) test back then. Apart from that, it has always bid for India’s permanent seat in UNSC and G-8. Their voting pattern in UN regarding India has always been optimistic.
France has always been the critic of Islamic fundamentalism. The attacks on Charlie Hebdo office were followed by November 2015 attack where almost 135 people were killed. After the sad incident the then French minister, Laurent Fabius had visited India and promised cooperation for counter-terrorism.
When the entire the west was busy slandering Russia, saying that the nation attacked Ukraine unprovoked, France had a clear stand on the matter. The French Prime Minister Macron was of the opinion that the whole of west should be ready to provide Russia with security guarantees if the nation agrees for peace talks.
Analysing the French stand on world order, it is evident that although India and France are actually not following the same track, France is not a hypocrite like other western nations.
Read more: ‘India doesn’t need to be lectured by anyone,’ Macron gives a tight slap to Merkel at the India-EU summit
“Framework Agreement for Civil Nuclear Co-operation” in January 2008 is an important agreement between India-France. Under the framework of Indo-French Defense Cooperation Agreement, both the countries discuss industrial and service collaborations.
Apart from that, several forums act as stages of cooperation like Indo-French Research Forum (IFRF), High Level Committee for Defense Cooperation (HCDC). India has performed various air, naval and army exercises with France like Garuda IV, Varuna and Shakti.
At a time when on one hand Russia is engaged at war and the west is turning irrelevant, India is making experiments with the world order to sustain its dominance in the Asian subcontinent and the Indo-Pacific. Hence, India needs a strategic partner from the west that is least tilted toward the USA. And France is proving to be the most promising friend for India. At a time like this the Indo-French worldview can become the new approach for International relations.
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