Paris, (EFE).- French President Emmanuel Macron and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi certified this Friday in Paris the deepening of strategic cooperation between France and India, which was accompanied by a major arms purchase.
“Today we are going to continue strengthening this historic relationship of trust to face both international crises and major global challenges,” said the French president during a statement to the press before a meeting with the Indian prime minister at the Palace of the Elysium.
Among these challenges, Macron especially highlighted the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its consequences “in the most vulnerable countries” both at a food and financial level.
Approach to non-aligned countries
Macron, who has spent months trying to attract non-aligned countries to a position of clear rejection of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, had a far-reaching objective in India, since that country is a member of the BRICS group (Brazil, Russia, China , India and South Africa) although it is also seen as an ally of the West.
He also stressed that France will support India to generate “a fairer world order.”
Modi, for his part, recalled that the countries of the global south “have especially suffered the dire effects” of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
For this reason, he said that “India is willing to contribute to restoring a lasting peace” and opted for “the settlement of all disputes must be done peacefully through diplomacy.”
He also stressed that France “is a natural partner of India”, and highlighted the new cooperation agreements in renewable and nuclear energy, as well as space and aeronautics technology.
And he made it clear that Paris and Delhi will collaborate in the stability of the Indo-Pacific region. It is an area where several Western countries are increasing their presence in the face of China’s growing assertiveness.
This morning, India, which will soon be the most populous country in the world, was the guest of honor at the military parade that France organizes every year as part of its national holiday on July 14.
Three French-made Indian Rafale planes and four French military detachments opened the military parade on the Champs Elysees today.
During this visit there was also a high-level bilateral business forum and a new step was taken in military cooperation between Paris and New Delhi.
Purchase of 26 new Rafale and submarines
India announced yesterday its intention to buy 26 new Rafale fighter jets and three Scorpene-class submarines, giving a new boost to the powerful French military industry.
India already has 36 Rafale in its Air Force and the new devices will be of the naval version, in order to equip the new aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy, for a contract that could be valued between 3,000 and 4,000 million euros, according to the French press. .
As for the three submarines, they will join six others that India previously contracted, half of which will be built in Indian shipyards under a technology transfer agreement.
In addition, Macron today awarded the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor to the Indian Prime Minister, who received it “with great humility” and as “a great honor for the 1.4 billion people of India.”
Modi closes his stay in Paris with a gala dinner that Macron will offer him tonight in a particularly symbolic place: the Louvre Museum.
Criticism of Modi’s authoritarian policies
But this visit by Modi has not been without controversy, since both human rights organizations and left-wing parliamentarians have criticized the red carpet that Macron has laid out for a leader who has been increasingly criticized for his policies that they consider authoritarian.
Amnesty International drew attention to Modi’s “authoritarian drifts of the regime”, the repeated harassment of judicial institutions, the media or universities.
The organization also denounced arbitrary arrests, official harassment or illegal digital surveillance against opposition politicians, journalists or human rights activists.