Defence

French Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to visit India

By The Hindu

The French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, will visit India during April 13 to 15, the Embassy of France announced on Monday. Mr. Le Drian will hold talks with his Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar and participate in the Raisina Dialogue.

The ministerial talks are expected to focus on “all aspects of the bilateral strategic partnership” covering joint ventures in the Indo-Pacific and cooperation at the UN Security Council where India has completed the first three months of its stint as a non-permanent member.

Cautious approach
Despite close strategic partnership between the two sides, India in recent weeks has adopted a cautious approach at the UNSC. India has participated in the “Arria-formula” meetings, the consultation among the 15 members of the UNSC over conflict zones and other contentious issues, while expressing reservations about the format of the meeting. On March 8, India, along with Russia and China, were the only three countries that did not sponsor the meeting on “women, peace and security.” The meeting was sponsored by other 12 members including France.

Two similar meetings on the issue of Crimea held on March 12 and 17 also tested India’s multilateral diplomacy as the issue was sensitive from the Russian point of view. India’s cautious position comes from the understanding that the “Arria-formula” meetings have been “misused” in the past by the biggest global players.

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