New Delhi [India], November 27 (ANI): French Minister for the Armed forces, Sebastien Lecornu, on Sunday reiterated that France and India are united in their desire to defend their maritime sovereignty and guarantee freedom of movement at sea in the Indo-Pacific zone.
Lecornu is on a visit to India to hold the Indo-French Annual Defence Dialogue and to strengthen the strategic ties, according to the statement released by French Embassy.
He also on-boarded the Indian Navy's newest aircraft carrier, designed and manufactured in India - INS Vikrant today.
"Aboard INS Vikrant, the Indian Navy's newest aircraft carrier, designed and manufactured in India. France and India are united in their desire to defend their maritime sovereignty and guarantee freedom of movement at sea in the Indo-Pacific zone," tweeted Lecornu.
During his two-day visit to India, November 27-28, French Minister Lecornu will hold wide-ranging talks with his counterpart, Rajnath Singh, spanning all aspects of our defence cooperation, including operational defence ties, counter-terrorism, maritime security in the Indo-Pacific, and industrial and technological partnerships in line with India's "Aatmanirbhar Bharat" policy.
French Minister is also expected to meet External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and will discuss global issues of common concern, including the situation in Europe and in the Indo-Pacific, and will also convey France's full support for India's Presidency of the G20, which is beginning on 1 December, the statement reads.
Minister Lecornu will also meet National Security Adviser to the Prime Minister, Ajit Doval for discussions on regional security issues and our close cooperation in combating terrorism.
During his visit, Minister Lecornu will visit the National War Memorial in Delhi to pay tribute to India's soldiers who have laid down their lives in the line of duty, the statement added.
The Armed Forces Minister's visit to India reaffirms France's engagement in the Indo-Pacific and India's centrality in the French strategy for the region. It comes in a year that has seen an acceleration of the French and Indian armed forces' endeavours towards even greater interoperability through joint air, navy, and army exercises, such as IMEX 22 (March), Varuna (March-April), and the recently-concluded Garuda (October-November), as per the statement.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will co-chair the 4th India-France Annual Defence Dialogue with French Minister for Armed Forces Sebastien Lecornu, according to the statement released by the Defence Ministry. (ANI)