New Delhi [India], September 27 (ANI): Chief of the French Army, General Pierre Schill Wednesday expressed concern on Indo-Pacific's safety and said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's participation in the Bastille Day is a sign of deepening strategic partnership between India and France.
Pierre Schill, in an exclusive ANI interview, said,"So France, as a nation of Pacific is also concerned in free movements and open space in the Pacific and the fact that through the multilateral coordination between nations and also armies to have the right and the laws been forced and for a free access to Pacific."He was speaking on the sidelines of the Indo-Pacific Armies Chiefs Conference (IPACC) at Manekshaw Centre in Delhi.
On India's ties with France, he said, "We were very proud to welcome Prime Minister Modi for the Bastille Day in France and some of your units that were opening the big parade we have on those days. This is a sign of some kind of strategic partnership we have, which is very important because we have some very close strategic assessment of the world. We have very close military links in the Navy, and in Air Force because of Rafael, but also go with the land forces."PM Modi, on his visit to France, participated in the Bastille Day celebrations in July as the Guest of Honour. He visited France at the invitation of French President Macron.
During the parade, the Indian military contingent marched to the patriotic tune of 'Sare Jahan Se Accha,' while a squadron of Indian Air Force (IAF) Rafale fighters participated in a flypast over the Champs-Elysees at the Bastille Day Parade. Rafale Jets of the Indian Air Force, from the 101 Squadron from Hashimara, formed a part of the flypast during the parade.
French Army chief Schill also said that France is part of the Indo-Pacific because"we have nearly 2 million French living in the Pacific," adding, "That's quite less compared to India, but that's not unimportant for France."Meanwhile, addressing the conclusion ceremony of IPACC, Indian Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande said that the need to give impetus towards enhancing bilateral relations through'military diplomacy', is the next key takeaway of the conference.
"As military leaders, this gathering is well acquainted with the significance of Military Diplomacy initiatives. Therefore, this issue did find resonance during our deliberations and our commitment to strengthening these pursuits, stands reinforced," he said.
He was addressing senior Army officials of various countries who arrived in New Delhi to attend the Indo-Pacific Armies Chiefs Conference (IPACC) at Manekshaw Centre in Delhi.
In the two-day conference based on the theme of'Together for Peace: Sustaining PeaceStability in the Indo-Pacific'. The collective viewpoints on regional and sub-regional security dynamics, challenges, concerns and aspirations, have brought to the fore important aspects that impact, contribute and need to be addressed, if 'peace' and 'stability' are to be achieved and sustained, in the Indo-Pacificregion were discussed.
On the aspect of'Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief', he said that they acknowledged that the economic, demographic and environmental dynamics in the Indo-Pacific lend an increased relevance of preparedness, to jointly undertaking HADR operations.
'Peace' and 'Stability' in the Indo-Pacific are not abstract ideals - they are the foundation upon which the dreams and aspirations of millions of people rest, the Indian Army chief added.
The armies of India and the US hosted the 13th biannual IPACC, the 47th annual Indo-Pacific Army Management Seminar (IPAMS), and the 9th Senior Enlisted Forum in the national capital from September 25-27.
The gathering is notably the largest conference for land forces (army, marines, etc.) in the region. (ANI)