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Indo-Pacific must be free from coercion: French Defence Minister Parly

The French Minister will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and other senior officials through the day.

Both India and France promote international co-operation and protect the rule of law based on the rule of law, and it is important to ensure that the Indo-Pacific region must be free from coercion by any player. French Minister of Defense Florence Parly said Friday morning during a visit to India.

Parly said both nations “want to keep the Indo-Pacific as an open and inclusive place” and added that it “should be free from all coercion and based on compliance with international law”.

The French prime minister will meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and other senior officials throughout the day.

Parly and Rajnath will host the third Annual Defense Summit between India and France this afternoon. The agenda includes military-to-military cooperation, defense industry cooperation and regional regional exchanges.

Commenting on the common challenges India and France face, ahead of his official meetings, he said these challenges are both regional and global. Speaking about the terrorist attacks, which he said affected both countries, he said, “The war is not over. The threat of invasion by the nations is not over. ”

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He described the situation in Afghanistan as “a matter of concern for France and India” and “a threat that needs to be addressed”.

The second challenge, he said, was “to respect international maritime law”. One of the Indo-Pacific maritime routes “is actually critical to economic security in many provinces outside the region”. He stated that no one should “consider himself entitled to violate” international maritime law.

He did not name China, but pointed out that the two principles of the international legal system are “conflict must be resolved” through mediation and negotiation, not “fait accompli” and “freedom of movement must be maintained.”

He also said it was important to preserve common ground resources such as the ocean, cyber and spacecraft, and that countries should work together so that although “these are strategic competitions” not, it must be ensured that they “do it.” do not be a new west ”.

Commenting on India-France relations, “this friendship, this trust has grown and flourished in recent years,” he said. He added that he “does not see France and India as two pillars of special cooperation. Rather the core of the partnership network. We are already working with the countries of the Indian Ocean, to deal with disasters, and if possible, to deal with them. “

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Indo-Pacific is “a very wide area” and although “politics is very much focused on the eastern part of this vast area due to China-related tensions” but the region includes the Indian Ocean “and there. and more than a million people living in the region.

“It is our collective responsibility to make sure we can contribute to alleviating the conflict there.” He said according to the Indo-Pacific strategy it was decided that “we should be more present, as in France but also as the European Union in the Indian Ocean.” Integrated maritime presence has been tested, which can be extended to the Indo-Pacific.

He pointed out that as the EU’s presidency for the next semester starting January 1, France “has a strong EU ambition” in the defense sector, and intends to adopt a strategic campus unveiled last year. The first white EU defense paper, he said, was being worked on and the Indo-Pacific was also on the agenda.

Asked about France’s relations with the European Union and China, in which India took part in the war for more than 20 months, Parly said it was “critical balance to be achieved”.

He described China as “a great country, with areas where cooperation can be considered and developed” and said climate change and trade were just two of those areas.

“But we also see that China is becoming more and more aggressive in the region. And it is even clearer when it comes to the Chinese Sea. France, and if I were to India, I would have the same ideas, the main thing: international maritime law. Freedom of movement. ”

“We feel that sometimes those attempts to shut down this Chinese sea. We want to make sure that freedom of movement is respected. ” That is why, he said, “even though we are far from our own country, we always send our ships and navy to express our right to move freely in these waters.”

“When we embarked on our Indo-Pacific strategy at the national level, we immediately thought we should extend it” to the European level. “The vision we had was to try to better cooperate so that we could be more present at the European level, in this area and in the water. I think it would be good for most countries to commit themselves to a system based on international law, to demonstrate in a practical way their commitment to own or navigating vessels. ”

He was speaking at an interview organized by the Ananta Aspen Center on ‘How does France cooperate with India in defending the Indo-Pacific region based on laws?’.

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