Modi backs Macron in fight against terror

Modi backs Macron in fight against terror

PM calls up French leader amid spate of knife attacks

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday night, offering India’s support to France on fighting terrorism, and also invited Mr. Macron to visit Delhi.

“The Prime Minister conveyed to President Macron his condolences for the terror attacks in France, and reiterated India’s full support to France in the fight against terrorism, extremism and radicalism,” said the Ministry of External Affairs, referring to a spate of deadly knife attacks in October by Islamist radicals, that Mr. Macron has vowed to stop with a tough security law.

Mr. Modi’s call came days after Mr. Macron said in an interview that he felt France was “lonely” in fighting for freedom of speech, referring to an ongoing spat with Turkish President Recep Erdogan who has been sharply critical of Mr. Macron for his response to the attacks.

“Let’s not let France be caricatured,” Mr. Macron said speaking to web-based news portal Brut. “I think we’re letting ourselves be infected by an activist discourse, very hostile to the government’s action and to yours truly, which I respect [but] I cannot let people say that we are reducing liberties in our country.”

A statement from the MEA said Mr. Modi and Mr. Macron also discussed the post-COVID-19 pandemic situation, accessing affordable vaccines as well as India-France cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, and defence cooperation.

“The two leaders expressed satisfaction at the depth and strength that the India-France Strategic Partnership has acquired in recent years and agreed to continue working closely together in the post-COVID era,” the MEA said, adding that the Mr. Modi hoped to welcome President Macron to India “after the normalisation of the public-health situation”

The call between the leaders is part of a series of conversations between New Delhi and Paris that are working closely together on defence trade, military exchanges, and cooperation on climate change initiatives. In September, French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly travelled to Delhi to attend the induction ceremony for French-made Rafale fighter jets in India. Later in October, Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla made Paris his first stop during a three-nation visit to Europe. During the visit, he too had expressed India’s solidarity with France over the issue of terrorism, calling on both countries to fight the “infrastructure of radicalism and its online manifestations” during a public event.

Your email address will not be published.