India and Pakistan should resolve the Kashmir issue bilaterally and no third party should “interfere or incite” violence in the region, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday. This came after his more than 90-minute long one-on-one meeting at Chateau de Chantilly with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Both the countries signed four MoUs after the talks.
In a joint press statement after the talks, President Macron said that Prime Minister Modi briefed him about the recent decision taken by India on Jammu and Kashmir and that it is in their sovereignty.
“I told him that India and Pakistan will have to find a solution to the issue and no third party should interfere or incite violence in the region,” Macron said.
He said that peace should be maintained in the region and peoples’ rights should be protected.
“I will also speak to Pakistan Prime Minister after a few days and tell him that the talks should be held bilaterally,” the French president said.
He also said that France will deliver 1st of the 36 Rafale fighter jets to India next month.
Speaking after Macron, Prime Minister Modi said the relationship between India and France is not based on any selfishness, but on solid ideals of ‘Liberty, Equality and Fraternity’.
He said India and France will expand cooperation in counter terrorism and security.
“Both our countries are constantly facing terrorism. We thank President Macron for the valuable support that France has received in combating cross-border terrorism. We intend to broaden cooperation on security and counter-terrorism,” Modi added.
He said France and India stand firm together to meet the challenges of climate change, environment, and technology inclusive development. “Together we can pave the way for a safe and prosperous world,” Modi said.
In a joint statement issued after the talks, the two leaders reiterated their strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations including cross-border terrorism and terror-related incidents in France and India.
“Both leaders reaffirmed that terrorism cannot be justified on any grounds whatsoever and it should not be associated with any religion, creed, nationality and ethnicity,” it said.
(With Agency Inputs)