Dr. Manmohan Sings’ visit to France, September 15, 2005
Statement by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Dr. Manmohan Singh’s visit in Paris
[ Thursday, 15 September, 2005 ]
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made an official visit to France on Monday, the first at this level since1998. After being welcomed by the defense minister on his arrival (Sunday), he met successively with the president and prime minister. He also met the CEOs of 40 big French
groups at a meeting with the minister delegate for foreign trade for a detailed exchange on how best to approach the Indian market. For his part, Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy had a meeting with his counterpart, Natwar Singh.
The visit injected new energy into the strategic partnership between France and India first established when President Chirac visited India in January 1998.
The president emphasized the importance he gave to the success of the discussions on civilian nuclear energy.
Our defense relations are already excellent, and the president confirmed France’s willingness to prepare for the conclusion of a framework
agreement in the area of defense. Evidence of this is the Indian government’s confirmation of the acquisition of six Scorpène submarines.
In the economic domain, we have set a target of doubling trade in five years, focusing in particular on industrial partnerships between French and Indian groups. India’s confirmation that it would purchase 43 Airbuses for Indian Airlines is a very encouraging first step.
The Indian prime minister left yesterday for the UN summit in New York with the assurance that France would maintain its active support for India ’s bid for a permanent seat on the Security Council. Manmohan Singh, for his part, expressed his interest in French proposals on financing for development and international governance of the environment.
At Manmohan Singh’s invitation, the president will go to India in February.