Objective of visit to consolidate strategic ties: Hollande

As he began his three-day India trip, French President Francois Hollande on Sunday said the objective of his visit was to consolidate strategic partnership between the two nations.
He affirmed his commitment to help India in building Smart Cities, an ambitious project of Modi government. “My visit has two main objectives: consolidate our strategic partnership, in particular for our security, with more cooperation and implement decisions taken during PM Modi’s visit in France during COP21,” Hollande said addressing the business summit.

Terming his visit to India as “exceptional”, he said France and India were committed to take forward all the promises agreed upon between the two nations. “India has launched a programme to create 100 Smart Cities. France will contribute in 3 cities with AFD France,” the President said.

Hailing the Prime Minister, Hollande said “without Modi’s intervention on climate justice, there would not have been any agreement.” Impressed by Chandigarh, he said “I wish that the work of Le Corbusier, that can be admired in Chandigarh, be recognised by UNESCO.”

“France wants to build with India a post-carbon world,” he said referring to global worming. I trust the relationship established with Modi. We agree, our cooperation must move even faster,” he said. “France thinks that it is in India that new innovations are conceived with its young and well trained population,” he said.

Noting that India is a major democracy, he said exchange of military equipment and cyber security programmes are need for protecting both India and France. “Both India and France need to protect world from terrorism,” he said adding that for the safety and security of the world the trust between the two countries must exist.

He expressed concern over the level of pollution in the world and said that it is disasterous. He said that 1000 French companies are doing business in India and France is third in the list of investing in India.