New Delhi: France and India signed an agreement on Saturday aimed at stepping up military cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region where France is the biggest Maritime security power with naval bases at Re-union and other french territories of Indian ocean with china on mind who is increasing its presence in the Indian ocean steadily.
Under the deal signed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Emmanuel Macron each country will open its naval bases to warships from the other.
They also signed an agreement to expedite construction of a big nuclear power plant in India by a French company and highlighted a solar alliance and cooperation between the two countries in the fields of defense, security, technology, space and counter-terrorism.
Both nations are particularly anxious as China extended its military presence by opening a naval base in Djibouti last year.
China is also building up its trading network which it called modern day silk road or the so-called One Belt One Road initiative — which involves many of the Asian and African nations that line the Indian Ocean.
It has built a port in Pakistan’s Gwadar, taken a 99-year-lease on Sri Lanka’s Hambantota and bought a number of tiny islands in the Maldives which is going through trouble now days.
All of this has alarmed India, which sees the Indian Ocean region as its backyard.