Recently, at the India-France strategic dialogue, both countries resolved to expand the defence and security partnership by enhancing intelligence sharing, bolstering capabilities, expanding military drills and pursuing new initiatives in maritime, space and cyber domains.
- Support to ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’: France reiterated its commitment to India’s vision of “Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India)” and defence industrialisation, joint research and technology development in India across a wide range of advanced capabilities.
- France stressed its continuing commitment to the Indo-Pacific region as a “resident power”, and partnership with India as a “major pillar” of its strategy for the region.
- Moreover, the French Presidency of the European Union (EU) in the first half of 2022 is expected to give a further shape to the EU’s engagement in the Indo-Pacific region.
- A resident power is one that does not own territory or have a territorial presence in a particular region of the world, but is nevertheless a force to be reckoned with in the international politics of that region.
- France’s reiteration to expand strategic cooperation with India has come after the unveiling of a new security alliance (AUKUS) by Australia, the UK and the US.
- The unexpected announcement of the alliance, which involves building submarines for Australia, had angered the French government after Australia pulled out of a separate submarine deal with France.
- AUKUS is a new trilateral security partnership for the Indo-Pacific, between Australia, the UK and the US (AUKUS).
- France, which had sought strategic autonomy within the framework of its alliance with the US, and India, which has valued independent foreign policy, are natural partners in building the new coalitions for an uncertain era.
- France also opens the pathway for deeper engagement with Europe on global issues, especially after uncertainty in the region due to BREXIT.
SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT