India World

India and France vow to ‘act jointly’ in the Indo-Pacific region as France’s fallout with US, Australia

India and France have vowed to ‘act jointly’ after the fallout from Australia’s cancellation of a $40 billion French submarine order.

French President Emmanuel Macron held talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to further strengthen cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.

A statement from Macron’s office said the two also discussed issues such as the crisis in Afghanistan.

Australia last week that it would scrap an earlier 2016 deal with France’s Naval Group to build a fleet of conventional submarines, and would instead build those nuclear-powered submarines with US and British technology after striking a trilateral security partnership dubbed AUKUS.

Australia informed France only hours before pulling out of the submarines deal, according to the French government.

France called it a stab in the back. In protest over the cancellation France recalled its ambassadors from the United States and Australia.

France is particularly furious with the US for secretly leading talks about the new strategic alliance.

In their telephone talks, Macron and Modi said they would “act jointly in an open and inclusive Indo-Pacific area”.

Macron assured Modi of France’s continued “commitment to the strengthening of India’s strategic autonomy, including its industry and technology base, as part of a close relationship based on trust and mutual respect”.

The statement from Macron’s office said France and India’s shared approach would be aimed at promoting “regional stability and the rule of law, while ruling out any form of hegemony”.