India-France to deepen maritime security, talk Afghanistan

India and France held their second strategic dialogue on Friday with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval discussing Afghanistan, Indo-Pacific and strengthening maritime security with Emmanuel Bonne, Diplomatic Advisor to President Emmanuel Macron in Paris. It is understood that NSA Doval met French defence minister Florence Parly and foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian during his short trip to the French capital. The French foreign minister discussed the priorities in the fight against climate change, according to a statement issued by the French embassy.

“At his meeting with NSA Ajit Doval on the occasion of the 35th Strategic Dialogue in Paris, French FM @JY_LeDrian stressed France’s commitment to deepening the Indo-French strategic partnership in all its dimensions,” ambassador of France to India Emmanuel Lenain said on Twitter.

At his meeting with NSA Ajit Doval on the occasion of the 35th ???? Strategic Dialogue in Paris, French FM @JY_LeDrian stressed France’s commitment to deepening the Indo-French strategic partnership in all its dimensions.
Statement? https://t.co/19s4RiO68d

— Emmanuel Lenain (@FranceinIndia) November 6, 2021

“He underscored the importance of the mutual trust between France and India, as well as that of the Indo-French partnership in working to strengthen multilateralism and defend a free and open Indo-Pacific based on the rule of law,” the statement further said. Both the countries exchanged notes on critical situation in Afghanistan with France as part of European Union holding a divergent view from Britain, which played a key part in the failed Doha political process with the Talban leadership.

Today, Afghanistan under Taliban and in the mentorship of Pakistani ISI is headed for a disaster of humongous proportions due to drought like conditions and no governance. Nearly three months after seizing Kabul, no country has recognised the Taliban regime despite being promoted by Pakistan, China, Qatar and Turkey. The French minister called for continued Indo-French coordination, including at the UN Security Council, on Afghanistan, the statement from the embassy said.

The two advisors had a detailed discussion on both countries strengthening maritime security with France willing to supply the latest technology in the sub-surface dimensions including underwater drones and state-of-the-art submarines.

It is understood that France shared its disappointment over Australia abrogating multi-billion-dollar diesel attack submarine project in favor of nuclear powered and conventionally armed submarines from US under the new AUKUS pact.

However, both sides decided that maritime security should be bilaterally cemented with AUKUS running parallel to achieve the larger Indo-Pacific objective.

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