New Delhi: France has assured India of “full support” in dealing with the threat posed by cross-border terrorism, particularly from Pakistan-based terror outfits Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad.
In his talks with Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, Secretary General of French Ministry of Foreign Affairs Christian Masset also renewed his country’s “unconditional” support to India’s bid for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
He even conveyed to Jaishankar France’s willingness to assist India in joining other export control regimes. Masset termed the conclusion of the intergovernmental agreement on Rafale jets as a major step in the Indo-French strategic partnership, which he said would give an unmatched impetus to the bilateral defence cooperation for the decades to come. He also welcomed the progress made in the negotiations on the France-India nuclear project for building six EPRs (evolutionary power nuclear reactors) in Jaitapur, in accordance with the roadmap agreed on by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Francois Hollande in January.
“Masset reiterated France’s unconditional support for India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group, hoping that it would meet the same success as it did for joining the MTCR. He expressed France’s willingness to assist India in joining other export control regimes, starting with the Wassenaar Arrangement,” the French Embassy said in a release.
The top diplomat also met Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar as well as National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
During the course of their consultations, Masset and Jaishankar reviewed Indo-French bilateral relations, particularly the pillars of the strategic partnership, and major international issues.
“He assured the Foreign Secretary of France’s full solidarity and support in dealing with the threat posed to India by cross-border terrorism, particularly by Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad,” the release said.
Both sides also deliberated on cooperation between France and India in the Indian Ocean where both countries have vital interests, strong presence and capabilities. They also deliberated on on the second bilateral dialogue on maritime security scheduled in Delhi in January 2017.
“The exemplary cooperation between France and India in combating global warming was emphasised, on the eve of signing the agreement establishing the International Solar Alliance on the occasion of COP22 in Marrakesh,” the embassy said.