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India and France Strengthen Maritime Cooperation in Indo-Pacific

India and France Strengthen Maritime Cooperation in Indo-Pacific

India and France have agreed to enhance their maritime cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region to foster a stable and balanced order.

During bilateral talks held on July 14, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) program and President Emmanuel Macron’s Indo-Pacific Strategy were found to be aligned. The leaders emphasized the significance of the India-France partnership in promoting peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific.

France maintains a significant presence in the Indo-Pacific, with territories like Reunion Island, New Caledonia, and French Polynesia, which are home to approximately 1.5 million people. These territories also serve as a military base for France in the region. India has been collaborating with the French Navy on coordinated surveillance missions, employing the P8I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft at Reunion Island.

India and France, as resident powers of the Indo-Pacific, share a special responsibility for maintaining peace and stability in the region. Both countries expressed their commitment to deepening exchanges, enhancing maritime cooperation, and conducting joint operations, particularly in the South West Indian Ocean Region. They pledged to increase naval visits and jointly support the defense needs of other nations.

The leaders affirmed their intention to extend development cooperation to countries in Africa, the Indian Ocean Region, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific. Strengthening plurilateral arrangements with Australia and the United Arab Emirates and engaging in regional forums such as the Indian Ocean Rim Association, Indian Ocean Naval Symposium, and the Indian Ocean Commission were highlighted.

Furthermore, India and France emphasized the importance of maritime security coordination through organizations like the Information Fusion Centre for the Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR), the European-led Maritime Awareness Mission (EMASoH) in the UAE, and the Regional Maritime Information Fusion Centre (RMIFC) in Madagascar.

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France expressed its support for India’s desire to join the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), while both countries pledged to collaborate on the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative’s seven pillars, which address common challenges in the region. Additionally, they announced plans to establish the Indo-French Health Campus to facilitate research and academic collaboration in the Indo-Pacific, potentially extending its scope to include Pacific Island nations.

With France leading the Maritime Resources pillar, the two nations committed to implementing practical projects to promote sustainable development and combat illegal fishing, aligning with bilateral, regional, and global initiatives.

MMJ News Desk
Author: MMJ News Desk

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