Paris [France], May 5 (ANI): Condemning the civilian deaths in Ukraine and calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities, India and France on Wednesday also expressed concern at the risk to the global food security and nutrition in light of the ongoing conflict.
Issuing a joint statement at the end of the discussions between the two countries during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Paris, India and France said that they are committed to enabling a coordinated, multilateral response to address the risk of aggravated food crisis because of the conflict in Ukraine.
“India and France express deep concern about the current aggravation of global food security and nutrition, already impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, and especially in developing countries,” the joint statement read.
The statement further said that the two countries are committed to addressing the risk of an aggravated food crisis, “including through initiatives such as the Food and Agriculture Resilience Mission (FARM), which aims at ensuring well-functioning markets, solidarity and long-term resilience.”
In the joint statement, France reiterated “its strong condemnation of the unlawful and unprovoked aggression against Ukraine by Russian Forces.”
“The two leaders discussed the regional and global implications of the conflict in Ukraine and agreed to intensify coordination on the issue,” the statement read.
Earlier, addressing a press briefing after the talks between PM Modi and French President Macron, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said that “the two leaders agreed that close coordination and engagement was important so that both India and France can play a constructive role in the evolving situation (in Ukraine).”
“The two leaders also exchanged views very extensively on the cascading effect of the situation in Ukraine, in terms of the global food shortages, shortages of commodities such as fertiliser, and how the two countries can partner together in order to address some of these challenges which are very real and felt on the ground,” Kwatra said.
The Foreign Secretary emphasized that “there is a very clear understanding of each other’s position (on Ukraine) and they (PM Modi and French President Macron) did agree to stay in touch and coordinate very closely (on the issue).”
The comments came on the final day of the three-day Europe visit of PM Modi, during the course of which the Prime Minister visited Germany and Denmark, before making a brief stopover in Paris.
“In sum, it was a short but substantive visit,” Foreign Secretary Kwatra said, adding, “for us a path for accelerated progress in the relationship lies ahead of us.”
He also informed that Prime Minister Modi has invited President Macron to visit India at the earliest possible oppurtunity.
PM Modi emplaned for India after the conclusion of his engagements in Paris on Wednesday (local time). (ANI)