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PM Narendra Modi to hold talks with new French President Emmanuel Macron

03 June 2017

Paris, Jun 3 French President Emmanuel Macron will visit India towards the end of this year for a meeting of the International Solar Alliance - an initiative that is the brainchild of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Modi, whose country is the world's third-biggest emissions generator, said in Russian Federation on Friday that he would continue to back the deal and Macron has said the 2015 Paris agreement is irreversible despite US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw.

Modi delivered on France's hope that India would confirm its commitment to the Paris Agreement, saying that fighting on behalf of "Mother Planet" is a gift for future generations.

He, however, avoided direct criticism of U.S. President Donald Trump's move to withdraw from the deal.

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"But the need is that we should help each other as much as we can in the present global economic situation", he said, replying to a question on free trade agreement at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

On China, he said that despite differences, New Delhi and Beijing have come together on the BRICS platform to create two financial institutions, one headed by China where India is a partner and one BRICS Bank where the two regional superpowers are collaborators.

Macron said that the issues of tackling terrorism was discussed at length during his talks with Prime Minister Modi and France fully supports India's fight against terrorism.

On Friday, French officials released a video that re-edited a previous 40-second video put out by the Trump administration that denigrated the Paris climate change agreement.

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Prior to the visit Modi had already hailed Macron's victory over the far-right as an opportunity to reinforce ties between the two countries nearly 20 years after agreeing in 1998 a strategic partnership. Prime Minister Modi had also called up Macron to congratulate him on his poll victory and said he looked forward to work with him to further deepen the bilateral ties.

Before his departure, Modi laid a wreath at the Arc de Triomphe in honour of Indian soldiers who fought in France during World War I.

"I am committed to substantially strengthening and advancing our multi-faceted partnership with France", Modi had said.

The US now joins Nicaragua and Syria as the only non-participants to the accord, signed by 195 nations including Washington in Paris in December 2015 to combat climate change.

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