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Modi pushes 'Make in India' at meet with French minister Fabius

06 February 2015

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday told visiting French foreign minister Laurent Fabius that he was "looking forward" to his visit to France in April.

At the New Delhi meeting, Modi conveyed through Fabius his condolences to the victims of the recent terror attacks in and around Paris, and expressed India's solidarity with the people of France, a statement said.

The prime minister recalled his meeting with President Francois Hollande on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Brisbane last year.

With his 'Make in India' programme always at the back of his mind, Modi also invited French companies to take advantage of the programme in various sectors, especially in view of the liberalised foreign direct investment regime in the country, the statement said.

The two leaders discussed key areas of bilateral cooperation, including space, defence, railways, smart cities and tourism, it added.

N-liability issues addressable: Fabius
The French foreign minister on his part told newspersons after the meeting that India and France can reach an understanding on the vexed issue of civil nuclear liability on the same lines as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama ended the stalemate on this subject.

Fabius said that Modi has agreed to visit France "this spring".

On the nuclear issue, he added, "The Indian Prime Minister will say what he considers. He belongs to India and will decide for India. But I think the elements which have been agreed [with the US] can apply to other nations also."

The visiting French Minister said during his meeting with Modi that they touched upon different subjects of strategic partnership "which is very impressive", including defence, nuclear energy, transportation, urban planning and development, tourism, space, education and many other areas.

"We did not discuss [all this] that in full details but we shall be honoured by official visit of Prime Minister Modi this spring," Fabius said, adding his government shall prepare this visit with "particular accuracy".

The French foreign minister said his people were "moved" by Modi's "special phone calls" to French President Nicolas Hollande after the terror attack on satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in Paris last month.

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