Indo-French Dialogue on Maritime Coop & signing of White Shipping Agreement
New Delhi, 19 January 2017
The second Dialogue between France and India on Maritime Cooperation in the Indian Ocean was held in Delhi on 19th January 2017 at the invitation of Deputy NSA Dr Arvind Gupta. France was represented by a high-level delegation comprising civil and military dignitaries: Vice-Admiral Hervé Denys de Bonnaventure, maritime security coordinator; H.E. Ms Marie-Hélène Maysounave, Special Representative for Counter-Piracy; Rear-Admiral Didier Piaton, Commander of the French Forces in the United Arab Emirates; H.E. Mr Luc Hallade, Ambassador for Cooperation in the Indian Ocean.
Both Admiral Bonnaventure and Ambassador Hallade participated in the Raisina Dialogue, along with the Diplomatic Adviser to the President of the French Republic, H.E. Mr Jacques Audibert. They underscored that cooperation with India in the Indian Ocean was a priority of the Indo-French strategic partnership: France, which is also an Indian Ocean rim nation through its overseas territories including Reunion Island, considers India to be a vital partner for stability and security in the region. They also recalled the importance that France attaches to respecting international law and the freedom of navigation.
A White Shipping Agreement between France and India was signed on the occasion of this visit. This agreement will enable the exchange of information on maritime traffic as well as enhance maritime domain awareness, particularly in the Indian Ocean. This is an important step forward in the maritime security cooperation between our two countries. Its operational implementation will follow in the forthcoming months. It will be accompanied by a significant strengthening of cooperation between our respective Navies for security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.