New Delhi: On the day when three French Rafale fighters landed in India, external affairs minister Jaishankar delivered a speech at the French Institute of International Relations on ‘How India sees France’.
External Affairs Minister Jaishankar said, “The world is today in the midst of multiple crises, including one in Europe. It is taking place against the backdrop of profound geopolitical, geo-economic and technological changes. The widespread disruption of the pandemic has sharpened, perhaps even accelerated these trends. Taken together, these developments have generated new challenges to the international order. We no longer have the comfort of the familiar.”
“In response, all nations are reappraising priorities, strategies, relationships and even strategic geography. We scramble every day to adapt to the rapid changes in the environment. Often, long standing assumptions have to be revisited,” he added.
Jaishankar said in the last two decades India has transformed many relationships at the global level but India’s ties with France are one that bridged multiple generations. Through the tumult of our times, India’s relations with France have continued to move forward on a steady and clear course. “It is a relationship that has been free from sudden shifts and surprises that we sometimes see in other cases. Indeed, these ties have continuously adapted to change and come out stronger for that,” he said. “I am also pleased to share my thoughts on how India sees France. It is particularly appropriate that I am doing so following a bilateral meeting with Foreign Minister Le Drian, Defence Minister Parly and the Indo Pacific Ministerial Forum for which I came here. These occasions captured the strategic priorities that provide a compelling framework of what I believe is a truly unique partnership between India and France,” he said.
With the delivery of the three aircraft on Tuesday night, France has delivered the entire consignment of 36 fighters with the last one being handed over to India in France. The last fighter with all India’s specific enhancements is expected to be delivered next month.