Jaishankar meets French Defence Minister; discusses contemporary developments

PARIS,  Feb 21: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met French Defence Minister Florence Parly here on Monday and discussed contemporary developments as the two leaders affirmed their commitment to cooperate on new and emerging security challenges.

“Pleasure to meet Defence Minister @florence_parly. As trusted strategic partners, discussed contemporary developments. Convergence in our outlook and interests was visible. Affirmed our commitment to cooperate on new and emerging security challenges,” he tweeted after the meeting.

Jaishankar, who arrived here from Germany on Sunday on a three-day visit to France, also met his New Zealand counterpart Nanaia Mahuta and discussed opportunities to expand bilateral partnership.

“Glad to meet New Zealand FM @NanaiaMahuta . Interesting exchange of perspectives on the Indo-Pacific from our respective vantage points. Also discussed opportunities to expand our bilateral partnership,” he tweeted.

Jaishankar also met his Bangladeshi counterpart Dr. AK Abdul Momen.

“Good meeting with Bangladesh FM Dr. AK Abdul Momen. Appropriate that it should be on International Mother Language Day. Noted that 2021 was a great year for the relationship. Committed to taking it to an even higher level in 2022,” he tweeted.

On Sunday, Jaishankar held wide-ranging talks with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian during which they discussed key regional and global issues, particularly the India-EU relationship, and exchanged perspectives on the situation in Afghanistan, Iranian nuclear deal and the Ukraine crisis.

Jaishankar and Drian also reiterated their shared commitment to the principles of multilateralism and a rules-based order, and agreed to coordinate in the UN Security Council on issues of mutual concern.

During his visit to France, Jaishankar will also hold meetings with other French dignitaries, EU Commissioners as well as with his counterparts from other Indo-Pacific countries participating in the EU Indo-Pacific Forum.

China claims nearly all of the disputed South China Sea, though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it. Beijing has built artificial islands and military installations in the South China Sea.

Beijing is also involved in a maritime dispute with Japan over the East China Sea. Both areas are stated to be rich in minerals, oil and other natural resources and are also vital to global trade. (PTI)