New Delhi: Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Friday held a “productive meeting” with Alice Guitton, France’s Director-General of International Relations and Strategy (DGRIS), during which they discussed Indo-Pacific region and maritime security, defence partnership and regional security cooperation.
Shringla is in France on a week-long three-nation Europe tour, he will later travel to Germany and the UK.
The Indian Embassy in France tweeted, “Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla had a productive meeting with Ms. Alice Guitton, Director General, DGRIS with discussions on Indo-Pacific region & maritime security, defence partnership & regional security cooperation.”
Foreign Secretary @harshvshringla had a productive meeting with Ms. Alice Guitton, Director General,DGRIS with discussions on Indo-Pacific region & maritime security, defence partnership & regional security cooperation. @Armees_Gouv @MEAIndia @JawedAshraf5 @PMOIndia @narendramodi pic.twitter.com/Ucwikfvqk2
— India in France (@Indian_Embassy) October 30, 2020
Shringla met a cross-section of leading French academia, media and members of thinktank groups. There was great interest in the strengthening dynamics of the India-France strategic relationship.
Calling France a steadfast friend, Shringla outlined how both the countries are on the same side of the court on several issues.
“From terrorism to global warming, from maritime security to sustainable development, from norms-based international institutions to technology and innovation, we are inevitably on the same side of the court. Few countries have recognised the dangers of climate change with the clarity and consistency of India and France.”
Shringla’s visit to France came as the country grapples with another terror attack.
Three people have died in a knife attack at a church in Nice on Thursday which was described by French President Emmanuel Macron as an “Islamist terrorist attack”.
About the threats of terrorism and radicalism, Shringla said that radical ideology espouses violence and separatism, very often fanned and supported by foreign influence, adding such forces seek to destabilise pluralist societies.
“The events of the past week in Paris and Nice have been horrific. India stands by France. We cannot pretend such actions come from simply lone-wolf initiatives and misguided individuals. It was horrifying to hear about the two recent terrorist incidents in France, one of which, as is very often the case, had its origins in our western neighbourhood — Pakistan,” he said.
“There is an infrastructure of radicalism, including its online manifestations, that comes into play. It has the backing of states and organised institutions. You know who they are. We cannot and should not postpone a coordinated and definitive response,” he added.
“For the past three decades, we have experienced what unbridled radicalism can wreak and what malevolent violent forces it can unleash. The civilised world needs to act together and act with firmness to address this threat to our cherished democratic value systems,” he added.
The Foreign Secretary also visited the Indian embassy where he interacted with the officials.