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Modi arrives in France, Macron says no third party should interfere or incite violence in Kashmir

By Vishal S

Paris, Aug 22: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday arrived at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport where he was warmly welcomed by the members of Indian community. PM Modi was officially received at the airport by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

Later, Prime Minister Modi met France President Emmanuel Macron at Château de Chantilly. PM Modi and President Macron held more than 90-minute long one-on-one meeting reviewing the entire gamut of dynamic and multifaceted relationship, MEA said.

Prime Minister Modi met France President Emmanuel Macron at Château de Chantilly

Macron on Kashmir:

Both leaders then held a joint address. Modi said France is the first country with which we have signed civil nuclear arrangement.

"France and India not only held good talks but also took major steps. We are walking on the path of strategic partnership since last two decades.. We're happy that 1st of the 36 Rafale fighter aircraft will be handed over to India next month," PM said.

President Macron said that Prime Minister Modi briefed him about the recent decision taken by India on Jammu and Kashmir and that it is in their sovereignty.

"PM Modi told me everything about Kashmir and the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. I said Pakistan and India will have to find a solution together and no third party should interfere or incite violence," French President said.

[At UNSC meet on Kashmir, here is who backed Pakistan]

"We have expressed our condolences for what happened in Pulwama on February 14. We will continue to work together on terrorism. Our ties in Defence sector show how much we trust each other. We have also affirmed that we'll help in Make in India," Macron further said.

About G7 Summit:

Modi is on a tri-nation tour to France, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain between August 22 and August 26. PM Modi will also attend the Group of Seven (G7) Summit in Biarritz, France. India is not a member of G7, but has been extended a special invitation this year.

[The diplomatic meticulousness behind Article 370's revocation]

"I am excited to take part in G7 summit and I want to congratulate President Macron and entire France for the summit," PM Modi said during joint statement.

"We spoke on G7. I wanted India to be a part of G7. I have changed some parts about how G7 is organised. Because there are several matters in which we can't move without India, there are matters in which India's presence is important," Macron said.

Both leaders met at Chateau de Chantilly, one of the finest jewels of French cultural heritage, located about 50 kms north of Paris. The one-on-one interaction was followed by the delegation-level talks.

Modi and Macron on terrorism:

Macron said that peace should be maintained in the region and peoples' rights should be protected.

"I will also speak to Pakistan Prime Minister after a few days and tell him that the talks should be held bilaterally," the French president said. He also said that France will deliver 1st of the 36 Rafale fighter jets to India next month.

Speaking after Macron, Prime Minister Modi said the relationship between India and France is not based on any selfishness, but on solid ideals of 'Liberty, Equality and Fraternity'. He said India and France will expand cooperation in counter terrorism and security.

"Both our countries are constantly facing terrorism. We thank President Macron for the valuable support that France has received in combating cross-border terrorism. We intend to broaden cooperation on security and counter-terrorism," Modi added. He said France and India stand firm together to meet the challenges of climate change, environment, and technology inclusive development.

[PM Modi embarks on tri-nation tour to France, UAE & Bahrain; to attend G7 Summit]

Recalling the joint statement on terrorism adopted by the two countries in January 2016, the two leaders reaffirmed their strong determination to eliminate terrorism wherever it is to be found and urged the international community to strengthen the efforts to counter and prevent terrorist financing.

"Both the leaders agreed to work for early convening of the Global Conference, proposed by India, to tackle the threat of terrorism around the world," the statement said. They called upon all UN member countries to implement the UNSC Resolution 1267 and other relevant resolutions designating terrorist entities. The leaders also agreed to work together on early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) in the UN.

Progress on setting up the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project was also discussed during bilateral talks.

"If we talk about civil nuclear, there will be discussion on Jaitapur (Nuclear Power Project) by the end of this year, so that we can take Jaitapur project forward," Macron said.

Ahead of the meeting, Macron explained the historic significance of the chateau to Modi and took him around the centuries-old building. Earlier today, Prime Minister Modi was accorded a red carpet welcome at the airport.

Tomorrow, Modi will meet French Prime Minister Edouard Charles Philippe, address an event of Indian community at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, and also inaugurate a memorial in Nid D'Aigle for Indian victims of two tragic air crashes of Air India flights in 1950 and 1966.

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