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Opening Remarks by Foreign Secretary at the Foreign Office Consultations with Mr Francois Delattre, Secretary-General, Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France

December 21, 2021

Mr Secretary-General, I am pleased to host you today for Foreign Office Consultations where we will take stock of the wide-ranging India-France Strategic Partnership.

2. This FOC comes close at the heels of a very fruitful visit by Ms Florence Parly, Minister for Armed Forces of France on 17 December to hold the third Annual Defence Dialogue with Raksha Mantri.

3. Before this, we had held consultations in Paris on 30 October 2020 where we had exchanged perspectives on the Covid-19 pandemic and geo-political changes at a global and regional level. We had also discussed in detail various facets of bilateral cooperation including in the areas of space and energy and reviewed the progress made in other dialogue mechanisms between the two sides.

4. We had also exchanged notes on our close cooperation in multilateral and plurilateral fora, be it the UNSC or trilateral cooperation. This helped us prepare for India’s term as non-permanent member of the UNSC where India and France have worked in very close coordination.

5. Following the fruitful discussions last year, several high-level interactions took place in 2021 that included three ministerial visits from France to India, including those of Ms Barbara Pompili, Minister for Ecological Transition in January, Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, Foreign Minister in April and most recently the Defence Minister, as mentioned earlier. Besides these, several dialogues at the working level have also been held over the year, including the 34th and 35th editions of the Strategic Dialogue in January in New Delhi and in November in Paris, respectively, Joint Working Group on Environment in January, among others.

6. I look forward to our talks today and to hearing from you about your assessment of the relationship and on regional and multilateral issues of interest.

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