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English Translation of Press Statement by Prime Minister during the State visit of President of France to India (March 10, 2018)

March 10, 2018

Monami Missiu la Presidon Macron,
Respected Members of the delegation,
Media,
Namaskar!


I warmly welcome President Macron and the delegation that came with him to India. Mister President, few months ago last year, you very warmly welcomed me in Paris with an open heart and hug. I am happy that today I got the opportunity to welcome you on Indian soil.

Mister President,

You and I are standing here together. We are not only the leaders of two powerful independent countries and two diverse democracies, we are the inheritors of two exuberant and capable heritages.

While our strategic partnership maybe 20 years old only, the spiritual partnership of our countries and our civilizations is centuries old.

From 18th century till now, French thinkers have got an insight into the soul of India through the stories of Panchatantra, Vedas, Upanishads, Epics and great men like Shri Ramkrishna and Sri Aurobindo.

Numerous trailblazers like Voltaire, Victor Hugo, Romain Rolland, Rene Daumal, Andre Malraux have found Indian philosophies to be motivating and supplementing their ideas.

Mister President,

Our meeting today is not only a meeting of the leaders of the two countries, it is a confluence of two equally thought-provoking civilizations and their collective heritage. It is not a mere a coincidence that the echoes of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity - is registered not only in the constitution of France but also in the Constitution of India. The societies of both our countries stand on the foundation of these values. Our brave soldiers have made sacrifices in both the World Wars for these values.

Friends,

Presence of both France and India on one platform is a golden sign of an inclusive, open, and prosperous and peaceful world. The autonomous and independent foreign policies of both our countries are focused not only on their own interests or on the interests of our countrymen, but they are also centered on safeguarding universal human values.

And today, if any two country can join shoulders to face global challenges, then they are India and France. Mister President, your leadership has made this responsibility easier. When the International Solar Alliance was launched in 2015, it happened in Paris with the then French President. Tomorrow, the holding of Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance is a vivid example of our active awareness of shared responsibilities. I am glad that this auspicious work is being done with the President of France.

Friends,

The history of India and France's bilateral cooperation in defense, security, space and high technology is very long. There is a bipartisan consensus about bilateral relations in both the countries. Be it any government, the graph of our relations moves further high. The agreements that were signed here now give an indication of the decisions that were taken during our discussions today.

And therefore I would like express my views on three specific subjects. First, we have very intense and deep defence relations and we consider France as one of our most trusted defence partners. Regular discussions and training exercises are conducted between all win of our military forces.

We have strong relations in defense equipment and manufacturing. We welcome the commitment of France for Make in India in the defense sector. I consider today’s agreement of the reciprocal logistics support between our armies as a golden step in the history of our close defense cooperation. Second, both of us believe that in future the Indian Ocean region will play a very important role in the happiness, progress and prosperity of the world.

Whether it is the environment, or maritime security, or marine resources, or the freedom of navigation and over flight, we are committed to strengthening our cooperation in all these areas. And therefore today we are releasing a Joint Strategic Vision for our cooperation in the Indian Ocean area. And third, we believe that the most important dimension for a bright future of our bilateral relations is our people-to-people contacts, especially among our youth.

We want our young people to know each other's country, visit, understand, stay and work in each other's country so that it prepares thousands of Ambassadors for our relations. And therefore, today we have made two important agreements, one agreement is to recognize each other's education qualifications, and the second agreement is of our migration and mobility partnership. Both of these agreements will prepare the framework for close relations between our people and our youth.

Friends,

There are many other dimensions of our relationships. If I mention all of them maybe it will be evening. Railway, urban development, environment, security, space means from land to sky there is no such topic where we are not working together with each other. We also work with close cooperation and coordination on the international platform. India and France have strong relations with African countries. They provide a strong basis for developing another dimension of our cooperation.

Tomorrow, I and President Macron will co-chair the founding conference of International Solar Alliance. Heads of State, Heads of Government and Ministers from many other countries will also be present tomorrow. We are all committed to the success of International Solar Alliance for the sake of Planet Earth's future.

Mister President, I hope that day after tomorrow in Varanasi you will experience the ancient yet dateless soul of India whose fluidity has nurtured the Indian civilization and which has also inspired many thinkers, writers and artists of France.

President Macron and I will continue to exchange ideas in the coming two days.

I, once again, vey warmly welcome President Macron and his delegation in India.

Many many thanks.

Je te remercie

(Disclaimer: PM’s press statement was delivered in Hindi. This is an approximate translation of his press statement)
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