It the invitation of the Prime Minister of India, the Prime Minister of France and Madame Chirac paid on officials visit to India from January 23 to 26, 1976.
It the invitation of the Prime Minister of India, the Prime Minister of France and Madame Chirac paid on officials visit to India from January 23 to 26, 1976. The French Prime Minister was accompanied by Mr. Barre, the Minister for Foreign Trade, Mr. Destremau, Secretary of State to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and high officials. The distinguished visitors received a warm and friendly welcome in India in keeping with the ties of friendship between the two countries.
The Prime Minister of France and Madame Chirac were received by the President of India, Shri Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, and Begum Ahmed who also gave a lunch in their hour. They witnessed the Republic Day celebrations as guests of honour.
Shrimati Indira Gandhi and Mr. Jacques Chirac and the Ministers of the two countries, assisted by officials, had wide ranging discussions on bilateral as well as international issues of mutual interest. These discussions were held in an atmosphere of great cordiality, mutual confidence and understanding.
The Prime Ministers confirmed the priority that both India and France attach to national independence and their common desire to contribute to the preservation of peace as well as better cooperation and greater justice in the field of international relations. In this context, they noted with satisfaction the close and mutually beneficial relations between the two countries in the political field as well as in the economic, scientific, technical and cultural fields.
The two sides agreed to raise the level of the Indo-French Committee on technical and Economic Cooperation to Ministerial level and expressed their desire to make use of this frame-work to further intensify and expand Indo-French cooperation in economic exchanges, industry and technology to their mutual benefit. They noted in this context the importance of giving concrete shape to the already considered possibilities of Indo-French cooperation in third countries. They expressed satisfaction over the conclusion of memoranda of understanding relating to cooperation in the fields of production and transmission of electricity and of telecommunications. The French side conveyed and the Indian side took note of French interest in extending cooperation in the fields of new sources of energy, railways, petrochemicals and the steel industry.
Both sides expressed satisfaction at the rapid growth of the volume of Indo-French economic exchanges but agreed that it was desirable to further strengthen and diversify them. The two sides also reviewed various concrete areas of economic cooperation identified during the preparatory talks in December 1975 and noted that some of these have already come to successful conclusion. They expressed their determination to strengthen their efforts to identify fresh areas of cooperation.
The Indian side conveyed its appreciation of the cooperation extended by French in India's economic development and stated that, in view of the serious consequences of recent international economic developments on India's economic situation, qualitative and quantitative improvement in aid would be of great help. The French side affirmed its interest in development cooperation with India and, nothing the efforts that India was making largely through its own resources to achieve socio-economic progress, expressed its readiness to further strengthen cooperation in this respect.
The two Prime Ministers also reviewed the international situation and noted that, as a whole, there was close similarity of views on the matters discussed.
Both sides welcomed the successful conclusion of the European Conference on Security and Cooperation at Helsinki as an important step in the process of detente. They regretted the persistence of external pressures and interference in internal affairs in various areas; at the same time they expressed the view that relaxation of tensions would facilitate greater cooperation in international relations.
The two sides expressed satisfaction over the growing cooperation between the European Economic Community and India and expressed their keen desire that India and the European Economic Community deepen and diversify such cooperation.
The two Prime Ministers exchanged views on recent developments in south Asia. The Prime Minister of India reaffirmed her Government's determination to promote harmonious relations and establishment of durable peace in the sub-continent. Both of them recognised the necessity of establishing among the States of the sub-continent good neighbourly relations and cooperation on the basis of equality, mutual respect and benefit, as well as peaceful resolution of problems bilaterally without outside interference. They agreed that promotion of peace and cooperation among all the State concerned was vital to the stability and development of the region as well as to international security.
The two Prime Ministers emphasised the importance of maintaining the momentum towards peace in the Middle East and the urgent necessity for a just and lasting settlement of the out standing problems.
The Prime Ministers expressed their satisfaction over the end of the conflict in the Indo-chinese Peninsula after a long period of struggle and suffering. They welcomed the prospects for the national reconstruction and economic development of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam as well as for the harmonious development of the relations between all South East Asian countries by the return of peace in the region.
Both sides reiterated their determination to work for the strengthening of the United Nations, and the development of international political and economic cooperation. They noted with satisfaction the promising start of the Paris Conference on International Economic Cooperation convened at the initiative of President Giscard d'Estaing. They agreed that determined efforts by all parties concerned, in a spirit of mutual understanding and cooperation, would be necessary in order to bring this Conference to a fruitful conclusion which would represent a very important step towards the establishment of a new international economic order and hence to the consolidation of world peace and security.
In this context both sides noted in particular the importance of finding urgent and adequate solutions to the special problems of the Most Seriously Affected Countries.
The Prime Minister of France thanked the Prime Minister of India for the warm hospitality accorded to him and Mrs. Chirac and extended an invitation to the Prime Minister of India to visit France. The invitation was accepted with pleasure.