The United States and France have “very strong interests” in further strengthening their respective relations with India, said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, without entering into the “specific hypotheses” of a future alliance nuclear submarines between New Delhi and Paris.
Blinken was responding to a question about whether the United States would welcome a nuclear submarine alliance between India and France as the Quad Leaders’ Summit begins. He was also asked about the recent telephone conversation earlier this week between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron, who have a “broad partnership”.
“I am not going to enter into specific assumptions about the future, but let me just say that France and the United States both have a very strong interest in further strengthening our respective relations with India. C ‘is something we strongly support, “Blinken said at a press conference here Thursday.
Prime Minister Modi and French Macron discussed recent developments in Afghanistan and raised concerns about the possible spread of terrorism, narcotics, illicit weapons and human trafficking.
During their telephone conversation, the two leaders reviewed the growing bilateral collaboration in the Indo-Pacific region and the important role the India-France partnership plays in promoting stability and security in the region, a statement issued by the prime minister’s office in New Delhi said.
On another question on Blinken’s meeting with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, he said that “we are now working under the leadership of President Macron and President Biden on a process of extensive consultations on a series of upcoming issues, in a very practical way, deepen cooperation and coordination between our countries, which for many years and in many ways is already remarkably strong, but we can do more, and we can do better. “
France is angry after the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom have reached an agreement to supply Australia with submarines. Blinken said the United States warmly welcomes European engagement and French engagement and leadership in the Indo-Pacific, and this is a point that needs to be emphasized.
“The European Union strategy that came out a few days ago on the Indo-Pacific, a strategy in which France has played a leading role in development, is a strategy that we very, very strongly welcome. revised strategy in the coming months. He will be very enlightened by what the European Union has done with the very, very strong contribution of France. And so one area where we will be looking to deepen our cooperation and collaboration is in the Indo-Pacific, and there are many ways we can do that. “
The resource-rich Indo-Pacific region is where China has attempted to expand its influence. India, the United States and several other world powers have spoken of the need to ensure a free, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific amid growing China’s military maneuvers in the region.