December 7, 2022

indo-pacific: Ahead of key Indo-Pacific forum, India and France bat for rule of ocean law | India News – Times of India

PARIS: Ahead of a key EU Indo-Pacific meet that France will host Tuesday, India and the European country announced a Roadmap on Blue Economy and Ocean Governance that they said will work to strengthen the rule of law. The roadmap was announced after a meeting between foreign minister S Jaishankar, who is on a three-day visit to Paris and will address the Indo-Pacific forum on Tuesday, and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian.
In a meeting on Monday, both the leaders discussed the Ukraine crisis and also the situation in Afghanistan while reiterating their shared commitment to the principles of “multilateralism and a rules-based order”. France said in a statement there was a discussion on talks with Russia for respecting Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
France has been pushing the European Union (EU) to play a more significant security-oriented role in the Indo-Pacific to address the threat from growing Chinese expansionism. It said in a joint statement with India that both countries aim to contribute to scientific knowledge and ocean conservation and ensure that the ocean remains “a global common, a space of freedom and trade, based on the rule of law”.
Ahead of the Indo-Pacific meet, Le Drian also said the EU’s responsibility is to work with its partners in the region to build avenues of cooperation, which respect “all sovereignties, serving international law, sustainable development and humanism in line with upheavals of our times”.
India and France also said they are attached to international law of the sea and its compliance across all seas and oceans. “So as to strengthen international law of the sea and adapt to new challenges, they will coordinate their positions in multilateral bodies and negotiations, whether it concerns the International Seabed Authority, the International Maritime Organisation, regional sea conventions dealing with maritime affairs and where they are both parties, or the Intergovernmental Conference on an international legally binding instrument under the UNCLOS on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction, among others,” read the joint statement.
Jaishankar and many other foreign ministers from Indo-Pacific are expected to address the Indo-Pacific EU ministerial on Tuesday. While working simultaneously with Quad in the region, India also sees France as an indispensable partner in the Indo-Pacific. India said in a statement that the two ministers also agreed to jointly launch the Indo-French call for an “Indo-Pacific Parks Partnership” during the EU forum that aims to build capacities in the region.

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