Modi discusses bilateral issues, Ukraine with Macron, wraps up Europe tour

Modi discusses bilateral issues, Ukraine with Macron, wraps up Europe tour

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi left for home on Thursday after wrapping up his three-nation European tour during which he held a series of bilateral meetings to boost ties in a range of areas including trade, energy and green technology.

“PM @narendramodi’s 3-day, 3-nation tour was immensely productive. – Advanced trade & investment ties – Forged new green partnerships – Promoted collaborations for innovation and skill development – Strengthened the spirit of cooperation with our European partners,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted along with a picture of Modi waving before boarding the plane for departure.

On his way back to India, Modi had a short stopover at France where he met French President Emmanuel Macron.

“My visit to France was brief but a very fruitful one. President @EmmanuelMacron and I got the opportunity to discuss various subjects. I thank him and the French Government for the warm hospitality,” Modi tweeted.

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Modi and Macron discussed a host of bilateral and global issues including the Ukraine crisis. The two leaders also agreed on an ambitious agenda for the next phase of the India-France Strategic Partnership.

Earlier, the Prime Minister’s Office said that the meeting between the two leaders will add momentum to the India-France friendship.

Macron held a tete-a-tete with Modi before the delegation-level talks at the Elysee Palace – the official residence of the French President.

“PM @narendramodi and French President @EmmanuelMacron had a warm and detailed conversation. Agreed on an ambitious agenda for the next phase of the India-France Strategic Partnership. Underlined that the India-France partnership is a force for peace, progress and prosperity,” Ministry of External Affairs’ spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted.

Modi’s visit to Europe comes amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. While India has maintained a neutral stand on the issue, refraining from taking any sides, much of Europe has united against Russia.

The two leaders are expected to have discussed how to ensure cessation of hostilities in Ukraine and mitigate the global economic consequences of this conflict. On Tuesday, Macron spoke with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and urged Moscow to rise to the level of its responsibility as a permanent member of the US Security Council by ending this devastating aggression, an Elysee statement said.

The Ukraine issue also figured prominently at the second India-Nordic summit attended by Modi and his counterparts from Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark in Copenhagen on Wednesday.

Modi said that India believes no country would emerge victorious in the Russia-Ukraine war as all will suffer losses and there will be a “more serious” impact on developing and poor countries.

Another focus area of the talks was believed to be to unitedly deal with the challenges in the Indo-Pacific, amid China flexing muscles in the region. Soon after his arrival in Paris, Modi had described France as one of India’s strongest partners, with both countries cooperating in diverse areas.

Diplomatic sources said Modi’s meeting with Macron days after his election victory is highly symbolic. It sends a powerful signal that the two leaders want to make the Indo-French partnership a guiding principle of their foreign policy for the years to come, they said. It also demonstrates the level of personal chemistry between the two leaders, which gives impetus to our joint actions across all fields of cooperation, they said.

Modi was among the first few world leaders to meet President Macron after his re-election last week. He had congratulated Macron after his re-election. His visit comes during the French presidency of the European Union. It also coincides with the 75 years of diplomatic relations between India and France.

(With inputs from agencies)

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