Paris: Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday met French President Emmanuel Macron at Elysse Palace in Paris. Addressing press meet with Mr Macron, Mr. Modi said, Bastille Day is considered a symbol of values like liberty, equality and fraternity in the world. He said, these values are also the main basis of the relationship between the two democratic countries. 

The Prime Minister said, India and France are celebrating 25th anniversary of the Strategic Partnership. He said, on the strong foundation of the last 25 years, both nations are preparing a roadmap for the coming 25 years. Mr. Modi said, It is setting bold and ambitious goals. He said, India and France are identifying new initiatives to increase cooperation in areas like Renewable Energy, Green Hydrogen, Artificial Intelligence, semiconductors, cyber and digital technology. 

The Prime Minister said, an agreement has been reached to launch India's Unified Payments Interface in UPI France. He said, climate change and environmental protection have been the common and main priority. In this direction, both nations already established the International Solar Alliance, which has now become a movement. Mr Modi said, Defence cooperation has been a strong pillar of our relationship and France is an important partner in Make in India and Atmanirbhar Bharat.

The Prime Minister said, the impact of COVID pandemic and Ukraine conflict have been felt across the world. These had a particularly negative impact on the countries of the Global South and a matter of concern. He said, it is necessary for all countries to make

united efforts to solve these problems. Mr. Modi said, we believe that all disputes should be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy. He said, India stands ready to contribute to restoration of lasting peace. 

The Prime Minister said, as resident powers of Indo-Pacific region, India and France have a special responsibility for peace and stability in the region. He said, both nations are working on Indo-Pacific cooperation roadmap to give a constructive shape to the cooperation. Mr Modi said, India and France have been together in war against terror and both believe that strong action needs to be taken to end cross-border terrorism. 

The Prime Minister announced that India will open a new consulate in the city of Marseille in south of France. Mr. Modi welcomed the decision of French Government to grant long-term visas to people of Indian origin studying in France. He also welcomed the long-term agreement between Indian Oil and Total company of France to export Liquefied Natural Gas LNG saying it will help in achieving the target of clean energy transition. The Prime Minister invited French universities to set up their campuses in India. he said, Indian athletes are excited to participate in next year's Paris Olympics.

In his address, French President Emmanuel Macron said, he was proud to see the Punjab Regiment in the heart of Paris at the Bastille Day parade. He said, India and France are going ahead on the basis of a historic trust. Mr Macron said, together both nations can find solutions for global crises. 

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