Ahead of the visit by Indian PM, the French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will be on India visit from 13 to 15 April. During his India visit, he will take part in the Raisina Dialogue and India-France-Australia foreign ministers trilateral meet.
Both Paris and Delhi have increased engagement at multiple levels — from dealing with the Covid-19 crisis to defence.
Indian ships will be part of France-led La Perouse exercises in the Bay Of Bengal from 5 to 7 April. The exercises will involve France plus Quad Naval ships coming together for the first time. France has also delivered 21 out of 36 contracted Rafale jets to India. More deliveries are expected in April and May.
India’s Europe focus will continue in the coming month as PM is expected to visit Denmark in a few months’ time for the second India Nordic summit. The first such summit took place in 2018 in Stockholm. Meanwhile, Italy will be hosting the Health summit in May, but chances are that the summit will take place virtually. Italy is also the host of the G20 and will hold summit on 30-31 October in Rome.
It is not known yet if the summit will be physical or virtual. Last year’s G20 summit under Saudi Arabia’s leadership was virtual due to the COVID pandemic. India is a member of the G20 and will hold the summit in 2023.
It is well known that New Delhi has high-level engagement with UK this year. While UK PM Boris Johnson will be visiting India on 26 April, Indian PM Modi will be going to the UK for the G7 summit from 11-13 June. He has already been invited for the United Nations Climate Change Conference summit to take place in Glasgow in November.