Modi, Macron review bilateral cooperation

US President Joe Biden speaks during the 76th Session  of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday
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 US President Joe Biden speaks during the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday

Highlights

Afghan crisis, ways to contain terrorism to figure prominently in Modi-Biden talks

New Delhi: India and France have agreed to "act jointly" in the Indo-Pacific to keep the region stable, rules-based and free of any hegemony, the French president's office said on Tuesday after Emmanuel Macron held a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi amidst Paris' strong criticism of AUKUS (Australia-UK-US) partnership.

According to a statement released by the Prime Minister's Office here, Modi and Macron reviewed the increasing bilateral collaboration in the Indo-Pacific region and the important role that the India-France partnership plays in promoting stability and security in the region.

After his conversation with Macron, Modi tweeted, "Spoke with my friend President @EmmanuelMacron on the situation in Afghanistan. We also discussed closer collaboration between India and France in the Indo-Pacific."

"We place great value on our strategic partnership with France, including in the UNSC," Modi said. The French president's office also issued a statement over the Modi-Macron talks which was tweeted by France's Ambassador to India Emmanuel Lenain.

"They reaffirmed their shared commitment to act jointly in an open and inclusive Indo-Pacific, including in the framework of the Europe-India relationship and European initiatives in the Indo-Pacific. This approach aims to promote regional stability and the rule of law while precluding any form of hegemony," the French president's office said.

The developments in Afghanistan, ways to stem radicalism, extremism and cross-border terrorism and further expansion of India-US global partnership will figure prominently in bilateral talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden in Washington on September 24, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said on Tuesday.

In their first in-person talks after Biden became the US President, the two leaders are expected to focus on bolstering bilateral trade and investment ties, strengthening defence and security collaboration and boosting the strategic clean energy partnership, Shringla said sharing details of Modi's "official working visit" to the US from September 22-25.

At a media briefing, the foreign secretary said Modi will leave for the US on Wednesday morning and return to India on September 26.

Besides holding bilateral talks with President Biden, Modi will attend a summit of the Quad leaders on September 24 in Washington and address the 76th session of the UN General Assembly in New York the next day.

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