New Delhi [India], January 27 (ANI): As France takes on the EU Presidency, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday reaffirmed the strong strategic partnership between India and France and said this diplomatic relationship has steadily matured and it's now an opportune time to take it to the next level.
Earlier this month, France assumed the presidency of the Council of the European Union with effect. The country will continue to hold the rotating presidency for the next six months. This period could prove to be important for New Delhi which shares a close strategic partnership with Paris.
During a virtual event titled "The French Presidency: EU-India Partnership in the Indo Pacific", Jaishankar cited how new and old French aircraft flew during the Republic Day parade on Wednesday.
In an interaction with the French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, Jaishankar said, "It is very easy to talk bout concepts like a strategic partnership. ...Yesterday, we saw the French aircraft flying at the finale of the Republic Day Parade. I mention this because it is a visible example of the strategic between India and France."
Jaishankar reminded how the India-France relationship has "steadily matured." "It something that goes back multiple decades. After our nuclear test, France was one of the earliest countries with whom we engaged in a positive format," the minister recalled.
With the passage of time, the relationship has grown stronger, said Jaishankar and added that the relationship has grown stronger in multiple ways.
"There is defence, there is nuclear and space, France has been a long-standing partner, a good partner, a reliable partner with whom, certainly it is the desire of our government to grow the relationship and take it to the next level," the minister said.
Stating that ties are beyond the confines of narrow bilateral areas, he added, "Though we are located in very different parts of the world, actually on the big issues of the day our thinking is similar. And that in my view is a strong force which impels closer partnership."
"I am stressing the strategic and political issues but it could be trade and other issues," he added. (ANI)