Paris : French President Emmanuel Macron has reiterated that India can help end the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, noting that the country under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi can mobilize the world and help address "tremendous issues we have in front of us".
Macron made the remarks during the virtual meeting to announce the aircraft deal under which Air India will buy 250 planes from Airbus. "We are working together for the success of India's G20 Presidency in a difficult context with the Russian aggression against Ukraine and India under your leadership clearly can be the one to mobilize whole world and help us to address the tremendous issues we have in front of us," Macron said in the virtual meeting in the presence of PM Moid.
The French President had in September lauded PM Modi's remarks to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
"Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India was right when he said the time is not for war. It is not for revenge against the West, or for opposing the West against the east. It is the time for a collective time for our sovereign equal states. To cope together with challenges we face," Macron had said at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
PM Modi and Putin had met in September last year on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) of Samarkand in Uzbekistan. His 'time is not for war' remarks to Putin were hailed by other world leaders also.
Macron in his remarks at the virtual event to unveil the Airbus deal hailed the ties between India and France.
"This achievement shows that Airbus and all its French partners are fully dedicated to develop new areas of cooperation with India. We have achieved so much with India. We have historic opportunity to go much further, given the potential of India and Indian people," he said.
"The end of the pandemic should lead to more exchanges between our two countries. Students, scientists, artists, businessmen, women, tourists all are most welcome to France and I encourage Indians to come and be part of this French Indian friendship," Macron said.
According to a statement released by Elysee Palace, Macron said the contract, for the delivery of 250 aircraft, marks a new stage in the strategic partnership between the two countries.
The deal includes 40 A350 wide-body ultra-long-range aircraft. The rest will be narrow-body aircraft.
"It testifies to the relationship of trust that the President of the Republic has been able to forge with his partners in the Indo-Pacific, in the forefront of which Prime Minister Modi. This contract also demonstrates once again the recognition in the world of the excellence of French industry in the field of aeronautics. It will bring significant economic benefits," the statement said.
In his remarks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the growth in civil aviation sector in India.
Emphasising on the strong presence of French companies in India, PM Modi recalled the recent decision by French aerospace engine manufacturer SAFRAN to set up its largest MRO facility in India to service aircraft engines for both Indian and international carriers.
"I would like to express my heartiest congratulations and best wishes on this landmark agreement between Air India and Airbus. My special thanks to my friend President Macron for joining us in this event," PM Modi said.
"This important deal not only demonstrates the ever-deepening relations between India and France. But, are also reflections of India's successes and expectations in the civil aviation sector," he added.