New Delhi: France Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian who was on two-day India visit discussed a host of issues with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj from counter-terror, to cooperation in Africa to increasing people to people ties. The two ministers later gave joint press statements to media in which the French minister said his meeting with Swaraj was marked by a "great convergence of views and shared ambition".
Continuing, he said, "France and India celebrating the 20th anniversary of their strategic partnership this year is not by chance. It is because we attach the same importance to multilateralism, respect for the rule of law, the same ambition to usher in a just and sustainable world."
Exuding confidence in India-France ties, Le Drian said, "India knows that in France it has a partner that has never failed it and on which it can count in the future."
Swaraj said, "Both India and France will take forward cooperation in the Indian Ocean region. The defence ties between both countries are deep and multifaceted."
This is the second meet between the the two ministers this year. Their first meet was during Swaraj's visit to Paris.
Both India and France discussed counter-terror and Swaraj said, "India and France have cooperation on counter-terror especially at FATF".
The French minister spoke about the "shared commitment to fighting terrorism, as we mark ten years since the deadly Mumbai attacks".
Both countries are also planning to launch joint projects in Africa. On people-to-people front, France plans to host 10,000 Indian students annually in the country by 2020.
The French minister also called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He started his visit from Mumbai were he met Indian producers and conferred the French honour of Knight of the National Order of Merit on producer Ashok Amritraj. French company Atos and India's Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) signed MoU for developing supercomputers in India.
PM Modi met French President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of G20 Summit in Argentina on December 1. Both the countries have been engaging with each other in several sectors especially fighting climate change. The International Solar Alliance (ISA) was jointly launched by France and India in November 2015 during COP21 in Paris. The First Assembly of the International Solar Alliance took place two months ago in Delhi.