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According to a joint press release from the French and Indian authorities, this visit will make it possible to set “new objectives” in various fields, against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Hyderabad, India, April 8, 2023

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the guest of honor on July 14 in Paris, the Elysée Palace announced in a joint statement with the Indian authorities on Friday May 5. This visit will be an opportunity to set “new goals”in the cultural, academic or economic fields, specifies the press release. “To mark this milestone, a contingent of Indian Armed Forces will participate in the parade alongside French forces”adds the document again.

Without explicitly mentioning the war in Ukraine, nor the tensions around Taiwan, the press release specifies that “France and India share the same vision on peace and security, particularly in Europe”. The two countries “defend the objectives and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, on which their cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region is also based” the statement continues.

This visit, announced for several weeks, is being organized while Emmanuel Macron is defending an uncertain project for a “summit for peace” in Ukraine with his foreign counterparts.

“A largely converging analysis of China’s attitude”

France seeks to increase its influence in the vast Indo-Pacific region, which stretches from India to the South Pacific, passing through China, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand . While India is becoming the most populous country in the world, overtaking China to reach 1.425 billion inhabitants, according to the United Nations, this area will have 75% of the world’s population in 2040. With significant potential for economic development.

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During an official visit in September, the French Foreign Minister, Catherine Colonna, noted « un terrain commun » between Delhi and Paris on the fact that “block-to-block logic would be wrong: it is no longer the American logic, we distinguish ourselves by a more nuanced and multidimensional approach in our relationship with China”. She added that France shared with India “a very broadly convergent analysis of China’s attitude, its militarization” and common concerns, particularly on the operations carried out by Beijing in the Taiwan Strait.

“France intends to exert all its diplomatic and strategic weight” in the Indo-Pacific, explained in April to Agence France-Presse Isabelle Saint-Mézard, researcher at the Asia center of the French Institute of International Relations. Faced with the risks of a new cold war between China and the United States, Paris is positioning itself as a « alternative » in Beijing or Washington, she observed.

The World with AFP

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