Modi, Macron seal defense deals with an eye on China

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Addressing a joint press conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi after their meeting, Macron said that stability in the Indian Ocean is important for the stability of the region. "PM Narendra Modi welcomes President of France Emmanuel Macron at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi ahead of the bilateral talks", MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted along with pictures of the two leaders. India and France also signed an agreement on protection of classified information.

The EDF and the NPCIL is yet to agree on the cost per unit and the credit aspect, which France will give to India for building the plant in Maharashtra.

India and France today chose to step up cooperation in the space sector by exploring ways to use satellites for maritime surveillance and collaborating on inter-planetary missions.

On his part, Macron stated that the defence cooperation between the two countries now has a new significance. After receiving a ceremonial welcome in Rashtrapati Bhawan, he had bilateral talks with PM Narendra Modi.

He said liberty, equality and fraternity not only echo in France, but are also deeply embedded in India's Constitution.

Both sides also decided that both countries will strengthen the coordination in existing worldwide and regional bodies to carry out this objective.

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In order to widen and deepen strategic naval cooperation, India and France will be open to inviting strategic partner countries in the region to participate in Indo-French exercises, the statement said. Macron will also take part in a Town Hall and have an interactive session, in which almost 300 students from different institutions are expected to participate.

President Macron will also meet Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that Modi and Sopoaga "exchanged views on strengthening cooperation in renewable energy, developmental assistance, blue economy and worldwide forums".

French President Emmanuel Macron reached India for a four-day bilateral visit on Friday along with his wife Brigitte Marie-Claude Macron and his senior cabinet ministers.

"I want to double the number of Indian students coming to France", he said later on Twitter. "Tomorrow, we are co-hosting the International Solar Alliance and the presence of the French President at the founding conference will take our climate partnership to newer heights", President Kovind added. Modi also shared his photos with the French president. According to diplomatic sources, President Macron's visit to China in January this year was one of the reasons the current visit was put off.

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