New Delhi: In a significant development in a strategic and diplomatic sense, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a tele-conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday (September 21).
"The leaders agreed to maintain close and regular consultations, in the spirit of the India-France Strategic Partnership, which both countries cherish deeply," an MEA release said.
Both the two leaders discussed regional issues, including recent developments in Afghanistan.
"In this context, they shared their concerns about possible spread of terrorism, narcotics, illicit weapons and human trafficking, as well as the need to ensure human rights, rights of women and minorities," the release
Both Modi and Macron reviewed the increasing bilateral collaboration in the Indo-Pacific region and the important role of the India-France partnership in promoting "stability and security in the region".
The French government has recalled its ambassadors to the United States and Australia after Canberra ditched a multi-billion-dollar order for French submarines in favour of a partnership with Washington and London in the Indo-Pacific region. However, a White House official said that the US regrets France's decision and will continue to be engaged in the coming days to resolve differences between the two countries. France has cancelled the India-Australia-France trilateral meet of Foreign ministers at the UN in New York later this week.
However, External Affairs Minister, his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian, will meet bilaterally. Jean-Yves Le Drian and Dr Jaishankar also agreed during a call to deepen their strategic partnership, "based on a relationship of political trust between two great sovereign nations of the Indo-Pacific", the French foreign ministry said in a statement on Saturday. The phone call between two foreign ministers came a day after the French government recalled its envoys to the United States and Australia.
Prime Minister Modi will be reaching Washington on September 22 for a series of bilateral and multilateral engagements, including with Australian and Japanese Prime Ministers and US President Joe Biden. Mr Modi will address UNGA on September 25.