Prime Minister Narendra Modi held long discussions with French President Emanuel Macron on Thursday, covering issues including the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan’s recent diplomatic campaign against India on the first day of his visit to a key strategic partner.
The visit is the first stop in a three-nation tour that includes United Arab Emirates and Bahrain and comes in the middle of mixed international reaction to the termination of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. France has emerged as one of the supporters of the Modi government’s move and has been a consistent backer of India at the United Nations and other forums.
“PM Modi told me everything about Kashmir and the situation in J&K. I said Pakistan and India will have to find a solution together and no third party should interfere or incite violence,” President Macron said during a joint briefing at end of discussions that went well past the scheduled time.
“PM told me about the recent decision taken by India and that it is in their sovereignty,” Macron said, adding that he will also speak to Pakistani PM Imran Khan and urge him to work towards “peace and stability and an end to terrorism”.
“It is important we tackle terrorism, keep regional peace and respect territorial sovereignty and we will continue to work together on these issue,” he said at the briefing that went till the time of going to print.
The French president also called for a bigger role for India in global issues, recounting the part India played in the climate talks that led to the landmark Paris agreement. “We think India should be a stakeholder on such issues,” he said.
Earlier, PM Modi said the “visit will add to the ground covered during previous interactions with the French leadership”.
“India and France have excellent bilateral ties, which are reinforced by a shared vision to cooperate for further enhancing peace and prosperity for our two countries and the world at large,” the prime minister said in his departure statement.
On Thursday, the US said India’s decision on Article 370 was an internal matter but has regional implications and President Donald Trump expected to hear from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue when they meet on the margins of the upcoming G-7 meetings.
A senior administration official who briefed reporters on President Trump’s agenda for the summit Saturday also said the president is also calling for Pakistan to prevent cross-border infiltration across the LoC and stop groups bases on its soil that have attacked India in the past.
Source : Hindustan Times0