Describing counter-terrorism cooperation as a corner stone of the Indo-French strategic partnership, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region, India and France jointly condemned all forms of terrorism including “use of terrorist proxies and crossborder terrorism”.
While there was no mention of Mumbai or the Pathankot terror attacks, the reference to cross-border terrorism is still significant for India in the context of Pakistan. France also reiterated its “steadfast support” for India’s bid for a permanent membership of the UN security council as well as membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
The two countries also emphasised on zero tolerance for the use of Afghan territory for spreading terrorism in other parts of the world, and agreed to work together in this regard, including at the UN security council, according to the joint statement.
They reiterated their resolve to closely work together in the common fight against global terrorism including through “combating the financing of terrorism, countering radicalisation and violent extremism, preventing misuse of the internet for terrorist or violent extremist purpose, acting against internationally designated entities and individuals”. On Afghanistan, said the joint statement, India and France expressed concern on the humanitarian situation and violation of human rights and reiterated strong support for a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan, emphasising respect for its sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity and non-interference in its internal affairs. They also called for an inclusive and representative government, and respect for the rights of women, children and minorities.
“Both sides expressed their willingness to coordinate actively in the run up to the third edition of the No Money for Terror international conference to be hosted by India in 2022,” it said.
India and France also agreed on setting up a bilateral strategic dialogue on space issues. “It will bring together experts from space and defence agencies, administration and specialised ecosystem to discuss security and economic challenges in outer space, the norms and principles applicable to space as well as unveil new areas of cooperation. They agreed to hold the first dialogue this year at the earliest,” said the statement.