India and France on Saturday agreed to further deepen their cooperation to tackle the challenge posed by terrorism and extremism as Prime Minister Narendra Modi met newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron.
Unfazed by the US withdrawal, India and France on Saturday pledged themselves to a successful implementation of the Paris accord on climate change even as they vowed to jointly fight the scourge of terrorism, the two challenges that are stalking the world at large.
“India and France jointly gave birth to this idea of Paris accord. We moved shoulder to shoulder and worked on the agreement which is a shared legacy of the world. It will benefit the future generations and give them a new hope,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared at a joint media interaction after talks with new French president Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace.
Arriving at the presidential palace, PM Modi, 66, hugged 39-year-old President Macron, in scenes contrasting with Mr Macron’s white-knuckle handshake with US President Donald Trump last week.
Speaking at a joint press event after holding wide-ranging talks, “Terrorism is one of the biggest challenges the world is facing today,” Modi said, adding that France understands the threat posed by the menace. He said terrorism is visible and it affects entire world, including France and India. “World needs to unite to defeat the menace of terrorism,” Modi said.
Macron said that the issues of tackling terrorism was discussed at length during his talks with Modi and France fully supports India’s fight against terrorism. Speaking two days after US President Donald Trump announced plans to withdraw from the deal on curbing carbon emissions, PM Modi said it was “part of the world’s shared heritage” and that India would “continue working…above and beyond the Paris accord”.
“I want to restate here France’s full commitment to the fight against climate warming,” said the president, who reacted to Trump’s Thursday announcement with a memorable call to “make the planet great again”, a play on President Trump’s pledge to “make America great again” that has been shared by tens of thousands of Twitter users.
The agreement signed by 195 countries in the French capital in 2015 “can protect future generations and give new hope,” the prime minister said.
Modi said that at the time of the Paris accord an International Solar Alliance was launched and he was happy that President Macron was fully committed to it. Macron said France is also committed to taking initiatives in tapping solar energy as part of harnessing renewable energy.
Referring to climate change and terrorism as two major challenges before the world, Modi said, “We cannot see the danger of climate change but we can see the horrific effects of terrorism, we can feel it. Innocent people, women, children lose their lives to terror. Every child in France knows the face of terror.”
Complimenting Macron on his electoral victory in a short span of time, he expressed hope that the French leader’s “energetic, visionary and young leadership” would provide strong and successful helming for not only France but contribute to a strong European Union to maintain a balance in the global order.
Modi invited Macron to India. Macron accepted the invitation and said he will be travelling to India by the end of the year and the two sides will convene a meeting of the International Solar Alliance.
The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is an alliance of more than 120 countries, most of them being sunshine countries, which come either completely or partly between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.The alliance’s primary objective is work for efficient exploitation of solar energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
This initiative was first proposed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a speech in November 2015 at Wembley Stadium. The alliance is a treaty-based inter-governmental organization. Countries that do not fall within the Tropics can join the ISA and enjoy all benefits as other members, with the exception of voting rights.
India will endorse clean energy, sustainable environment, public transport, and climate adaptive agriculture through this initiative.
India has also launched a tool named IESS 2047 (India Energy Security Scenarios 2047 calculator) which aims to explore the potential of future energy scenarios for India.
Prime Minister Modi also highlighted that the India and France enjoy deep-rooted ties.”Our nations have been working together for a very long time, bilaterally and multilaterally. Be it trade and technology, innovation and investment, energy, education and enterprise, we want to give a boost to India-France ties,” the Prime Minister said.
France is India’s 9th largest investment partner. France is also a key partner in India’s development initiatives in areas like defence, space, nuclear and renewable energy, urban development and railways.
39-year-old Macron created history last month by becoming the youngest president of France.
Prime Minister Modi arrived in France from Russia, where he held talks with President Vladimir Putin and attended an international economic forum.