India's plans with France and UAE: Amid the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, India, France and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Saturday unveiled an ambitious roadmap for cooperation in a plethora of areas including defence, energy and technology. The major development came in the midst of the relentless war and Russia facing the burnt of international pressure and sanctions. In the latest event, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar held a telephone conversation with its second-largest arms exporter, France, and UAE on February 4, where the trio held an extensive discussion on various topics including defence, technology, green energy and climate change.
The plan was finalised during a phone conversation among Jaishankar, his French counterpart Catherine Colonna and UAE's Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan. A joint statement said it was acknowledged that defence is an area of close cooperation between the three countries.
During the call, the three sides agreed that the trilateral initiative will serve as a forum to promote the design and execution of cooperation projects in the fields of energy, with a focus on solar and nuclear energy, as well as in the fight against climate change and the protection of biodiversity, particularly in the Indian Ocean region. For this purpose, the three countries will explore the possibility of working with the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) to pursue concrete, actionable projects on clean energy, the environment, and biodiversity, as per the joint statement.
All three vow to work under Paris Agreement
Furthermore, it was agreed that the three countries will seek to ensure greater alignment of their respective economic, technological, and social policies with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. Notably, this was the second conversation between the three ministers after they held discussions on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York held in September last year.
"It was acknowledged that defence is an area of close cooperation between the three countries. Therefore, efforts will be undertaken to further promote compatibility, and joint development and co-production, whilst seeking out avenues for further collaboration and training between the three countries' defence forces," according to the joint statement.
"As countries at the very forefront of technological innovation, the development of trilateral cooperation between relevant academic and research institutions and efforts to promote co-innovation projects, technology transfer, and entrepreneurship will be encouraged. In this context, trilateral conferences and meetings on the sidelines of high-level technology events such as Vivatech, Bengaluru Tech Summit, and GITEX will be arranged to support such cooperation," it added.
Before concluding the meeting, all the officials in recognition of the critical role social and human bonds play in their constructive partnership, India, France, and the UAE said they will ensure that the trilateral initiative will be leveraged as a platform to promote cultural cooperation, through a range of joint projects, including heritage promotion and protection.
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