Emmanuel Bonne, the diplomatic advisor to French President, has called on India for combined initiatives between India and France during India’s tenure at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
“India will be a member of the UN Security Council for 2 years. This will be a critical occasion for both of us to take initiatives whether it’ll be on the Indo-Pacific region or it is about addressing terrorist threats,” he said, as quoted by news agency ANI.
On January 4, 2021, India officially began its eighth term as a non-permanent member of the UNSC for a period of two years. France is a permanent member of the security council.
Bonne also thanked the Indian government and people for their support to France when the country was “under attack by some leaders in Turkey and Pakistan and in other countries”, a veiled reference to the backlash France received from many nations, including Pakistan and Turkey, after the killing of French teacher Samuel Paty. The French government was condemned for its support to acts that hurt their religious sentiments.
“We very much appreciate the support we got not only from your authorities but also from Indian civil society when our country was under attack by some leaders in Turkey and Pakistan and in other countries,” he added.
The remarks from Bonne came after his meeting with India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval earlier on Thursday. The meetings were a part of the annual strategic dialogue between India and France, which was confirmed by the ministry of external affairs in its official statement on Wednesday. The ministry also said that the two sides would discuss “wide-ranging bilateral and global issues.”
Bilateral ties between India and France have been strengthening recently with India’s purchase of the Rafale jets from French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation. Earlier in December 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called up the French President Emmanuel Macron and expressed his support for France’s fight against terrorism.