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External Affairs Minister participates in a panel discussion at the Raisina Dialogue 2021- “Crimson Tide, Blue Geometries: New Partnerships for the Indo-Pacific” (14-04-2021)

April 15, 2021

Samir Saran: Good afternoon. Good morning. Good evening, and welcome back to the Raisina dialogue 2021 for this live session with three very eminent panellists discussing a very contemporary question. The title of the panel "Crimson Tide, Blue Geometries” is basically a provocation to discuss the management of a geography that we have come to know as the Indo Pacific. It is a body of water that is enticing new partnerships between likeminded countries in a bit to make sure that the waters remain open, inclusive and free. Choose any adjective you want, and this still works. At the same time, many would agree the region continues to be under institutionalised. There is an over politicisation in the region. But certainly institutions didn't seem to be keeping pace with the changes of the last two decades.

This panel will provide a high level view of the emerging geometries of power in the Indo Pacific and to do that we have with us, Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, in charge of foreign affairs in Europe, for France, we have minister Maris Payne, Foreign Affairs Minister of Australia, and we have Dr. S. Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs for India. Welcome to all of you. And thank you so much for joining the Raisina Dialogue. We would love to host all of you; I know Minister Le Drian could make it to Delhi. So welcome to Delhi sir, but we would have actually loved to have this trilateral take place at the Raisina arenas. But let me tell you, as an aside, that even as we are having this conversation now, a group of thinkers from FRS in Paris, NSE in Canberra, Carnegie India, and ORF are discussing how to put some beef and meat on this very important trilateral. And we hope to be able to give you a set of recommendations post that meeting today for you to consider as we move into the next phase of this very important trilateral.

Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian let me start with you. The Indo Pacific, as I mentioned, is under institutionalised, what in your opinion is the role of the plurilateral arrangement such as that between Australia, India, and France, in addressing this gap?

Jean-Yves Le Drian: Good afternoon to each and every one. Hello Marise, very pleased to see you again. And hello, as well to my colleague, Mr. Jaishankar, who is in the next video, we're neighbours. It gives me great pleasure to attend the Raisina dialogue. It is my first attendance and I would like to say that for the first time it is in very unusual circumstances. But I'm very pleased that we can have this discussion about the Indo Pacific region. And to see once again, our friends from India and Australia. And I'm telling you, and strongly so because I feel very much at ease in this trial because France as a matter of fact, is also a territory of the Indo Pacific region, we tend to forget about it, but we are present, 2 million inhabitants of course, it's not much compared to India, but we do have 2 million inhabitants in the region of Indo Pacific. So this is yet another reason for us to play our full role.

In this matter, we have a very pragmatic approach and when we talk about setting up an inclusive area, an area of cooperation, I'm not sure we should always start by talking about some very complex matters, institutional matters, because if we do so we waste the time and we're never sure what the outcome will be. What matters should lead us, concrete matters being operational and partnerships on a number of topics and so it is the reason why we have a strategic partnership with both India, and Australia on a number of topics on common environmental goods, on the security, maritime security, there are many things that we share. And we then go beyond, we also have an academic cooperation, the three of us together, we're doing more within this trilateral. And we keep strengthening up our cooperation. I am today in Delhi and together with our friend, Minister Jaishankar, we are strengthening what already exists.

In addition, we see each other in a more institutional format within IORA which is very much in charge of over maritime security. We're also part of the Indian initiative for the ocean, in the indo Pacific launched by Prime Minister Modi. And there is also this initiative on illegal fishing and sustainable fishing. We are together with Australia in the fight against the financing of terrorism. So there are different networks that add to our willingness to be in these places where we can actually act. And these very much enabled us to get into some concrete things without starting with the institutional architecture. And this reminds me of the history of Europe. On this Sunday, we will be celebrating in Paris, the 50 years of the European Economic Community for coal and steel. And this is on concrete initiative that actually the European Union was based, based on something physical that could be identified and on which we could build. And the Indo Pacific challenge is quite the same for us. They are different forum and the same willingness of being concrete.

Samir Saran: Thank you, Mr. Minister. Let me turn to Minister Marise Payne. Can this new arrangement, the Minister has laid out a whole ambitious agenda for what we could be doing together, what we are already participating and partnering in. But there is always a suspicion that can plurilateral dialogue such as these move beyond talk shots, and actually create tangible change on the ground. Does Australia have material objectives for this partnership in your own assessment, what is the kind of ambition and agenda that you want this troika to imbibe?

Marise Payne: Thank you, Samir and can I acknowledge my friends, Dr. Jaishankar and Jean-Yves Le Drian, and apologise for not being in India myself. But it is a great pleasure to be at my third Raisina dialogue and I want to congratulate both the Ministry of External Affairs and the ORF on bringing the Raisina dialogue to such an important point of international debate and engagement, that we are all here no matter what we get here in one way or another. So Samir, and Jai, thank you very much for your shared leadership in that regard. Samir, I think Australia has a very practical approach on an association, like the one we're talking about tonight. When we talk about the circumstances in which we find ourselves now, this specific example of addressing COVID-19, our focus is very much on pandemic response and recovery in all of our countries, and then also in many of the countries with which we engage and to whom we provide support.

We know that we are all most definitely in this together, whether it's a focus on vaccines and vaccine distribution, whether it's an appreciation of the economic challenge that will face many, particularly developing nations across the Indo Pacific. We have a very practical thread to the work we do together, Jean-Yves mentioned, maritime safety and security. And both Australia, France and India have very sound examples of where we have been able to work together, both in the broad Indo Pacific, Australia and France, for example, in the Pacific itself through the France arrangement, which often is brought together for urgent humanitarian response in the context of extreme weather events like cyclones, and volcanic issues, and so on. Then we also share a focus and I know that Prime Minister Modi and President Macron and Prime Minister Morrison had discussed these issues at length on the sustainability of the oceans that we share. The resilience that we have to those disasters are referred to, and also climate change.

And then, fundamentally the value of three nations like ours, and three such strong democracies like ours, having the capacity to share our views and share our responses to the pressures that are on regional multilateral institutions, currently, the strategic competition that we see every day, the challenges therefore from both of those that go to against the rules based order to which we have all in different ways, signed up for so many decades now. It's a very practical approach, but also has to be very flexible. And I think COVID-19 has driven home more than almost anything could have the need for that responsiveness, that flexibility, that preparedness to engage in an event such as this, to have an open discussion about what is possible and about what we practically do.

Dr. S. Jaishankar:
Samir I'm not getting you. You're on mute. Can you hear me?

Marise Payne: We can't hear you, Samir.

Dr. S. Jaishankar: Yeah, I can hear your Marise but I can't hear Samir. I think maybe the three Foreign Ministers need to conduct a conversation among themselves.

Marise Payne: Well, it's your turn Jai. So you can go ahead. Perhaps possibly he fixes his volume, Jai, you could talk about your perceptions, India's perception about the arrangement.

Dr. S. Jaishankar:
Sure, okay. First of all, it's lovely to see both of you. And I wish we were doing it all together in the same room. But let me actually build on the remarks which both of you have stated. So I want to take it into parts. One, why do we need plurilateralism right now. And number two, what is Indo Pacific about? To my mind, we need plurilateralism, because if you look at multilateralism, which is the highest end of it, it's not delivering the way it used to. If you look at the formal treaty based structures, and both of you are members of security alliances, that also isn't what it used to be. And the power of individual nations and bilateral relations is again weaker than it used to be. So my point is that, in a sense, there is a sort of vacuum which has emerged, where multilateralism has fallen short, powers are not what they used to be, bilateral delivery is not what it used to be. So it requires countries which are comfortable with each other, who see merit in working with each other and who, frankly, will make the world a better place by working together, come together. So I would say three of us are talking today, Marise, you and I deal with the quad. As a broad case, I think the world is moving towards groups of countries who are looking to work together, you can call them whatever coalition of the enthusiastic, the convergence, the willing, pick your region, pick your combination, but I think that's where the world is moving.

Now, the question Indo Pacific, why Indo Pacific? First of all, if all of you want to know what I think about the Indo Pacific, please buy and read my book. It has all the answers in it. But for those of you who haven't done it, let me give you a short version of it. I think Indo Pacific historically existed. It refers to a seamless world and this was historically there, because if you look at Indian or Arab, economic trading, cultural influence, all the way from ASEAN, into Vietnam up to even the east coast of China, historically. Or if you look the other way around, which is Indonesians actually going all the way to the east coast of Africa. So what actually broke up this seamlessness, some of it was the empires of that Imperial period, but a lot of it was post Second World War politics and the fact that, we separated it as Asia Pacific and Indian Ocean. And I think today because of globalisation, because of rebalancing, because of multipolarity, because even the most significant power there the United States is willing to work with others in a way in which it wasn't earlier, we have the sort of coming together of what was an aberration, where they were actually dealt with in a very distinctly different way. So, I would argue that in a way, indo Pacific is a sort of return to history, it reflects the more contemporary world, it is actually overcoming the Cold War, not reinforcing it. So, I would very much hope that all of us who would like to run contemporary foreign policies look at it that way.

Samir Saran: Excellent, can I be heard now?

Dr. S. Jaishankar:
Yes you can be heard but not seen but please go ahead.

Samir Saran: You can possibly see me as well, but Dr. Jaishankar I actually wanted to ask you something very similar to what you've just already responded on, but maybe more sharp and more direct. You have a country which is part of the NATO, it's a P5 country. You have two speakers here who are allegedly from the Asian NATO or that's what some people describe it as. You have different histories, different aspirations, and different journeys as peoples, how does this plurilateral arrangement, this troika, give you as the Foreign Minister of India, the room that you seek to manoeuvre?

Dr. S. Jaishankar:
As part of the preparation for this panel, I actually sat and looked at all the quad meetings that we've attended, and Marise and I have done three of them at the ministerial level, I did some of them when I was Foreign Secretary as well. So I want to give you a sense of 10 subjects, which we actually discussed in the Quad in the last few years. Vaccine collaboration, higher education and student mobility, climate action, HADR, emerging technology, resilient supply chains, semiconductors, disinformation, counterterrorism, and maritime security. Now, that list will tell you, what is in our minds, and what is the purpose of what we're trying to do. And when I say the quad, I'm pretty sure that when we do our trilateral, which we couldn’t do this time, we would be discussing, the three of us something very similar. So the purpose of coming together is actually frankly, to find ways of working for our national benefit, for our regional benefit and for global benefit. So I think this idea that somehow because we come together, there is some sort of threat or messaging to others, I think people need to get over this. I mean as you say, I see a NATO member, I see a treaty ally, they know what that means. Now, I have a very different political history. So I know what I can do and what I'm not going to do. And I also want to say this very frankly, this kind of using words like NATO etc., this is a sort of mind game, which people are playing. I can't have other people sort of have a veto about what I'm going to discuss, with whom I'm going to discuss, how much I'm going to contribute to the world. That's fine. That’s your choice And you know, that kind of NATO mentality has never been Indians. If it has been there in Asia before, I think it's in other countries and regions, not in mine.

Samir Saran: Let me turn to the French minister. Sir, from your perspective, since you have already mentioned this impressive roster of activities in the region, how do you think we should be moving as a grouping to create real tangible progress? Do you think it's in the area of human development, in the area of infrastructure and connectivity? Or do you think this is a largely political grouping trying to come up with norms for the future?

Jean-Yves Le Drian: First of all, I fully share what was said a minute ago by my friend, Minister Jaishankar, as to the fact that we share the same willingness to work together simply because we get along well and not just because we share some common interests. And because we share some similar concerns and because we're democracies and because we comply with the rule of law. All of that is in our common genes. But on top of it, we want to do it together and we're doing it in a very pragmatic way. And your comment is, mediator, you were talking about the quad because we are certainly not into any sort of military institution or format. However security in the Indo Pacific region is very important to us. Free movement and security, the security of trade, this is the reason why we share some joint initiatives in order to guarantee the security. We have some monitoring patrols with India, for example and off the coast of all the Reunion Island. We also have a number of initiatives for intelligence sharing with Australia; we also launched some maritime surveillance missions in partnership with our Australian friends. So in summary, security, for the Pacific, can be the Pacific. We have this willingness and it is very concrete. That being said, we also, all of us are extremely active in supporting the rise of the blue economy, because the luck and the value of this region, if it is protected, it means that there we will still have all the ingredients of the economy, in terms of energy resources, fishing resources, also, for research purposes and innovation, with some specific molecules. So in summary, we all share this field of experience in common, and of course, then come the environmental challenge and necessity to have some strong renewable energy based on solar wind power, or the sea as well and this is part of our very concrete joint commitments including all the ongoing reflection on the carbonate hydrogen, this is part of our joint future. And I wanted to add as well, humanitarian assistance on which we regularly work together whenever there is a disaster somewhere and of course, the fight against pollution and in particular plastic pollution in the maritime environment. Concrete actions, this is what unite us, the things that can be monitored as well.

Samir Saran: Thank you very much, Minister. Let me turn to Minister Payne. I was going to ask you the question from someone who has sent it to us a few times. His question to you Anirban Chakravarthy asks, "how can we strengthen people to people dialogue in the Indo Pacific, with the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2023 in Australia and New Zealand, can Australia play a role in using sports as the diplomacy tool?” Let me add a small subtext to his question. Do you think it's time India and Australia taught the French how to play cricket? And maybe that could be something that the plurilateral could be useful for as well. But now this is a question to you. And a second question to both Mr. Jaishankar and to you, is that can this group respond to what's happening in Myanmar? Since they are a country that's in our part of the world, is there any chance of collective action working together in responding to what's going on in Myanmar? These two questions that have come to you Minister Payne, so I thought I'd just pose them to you.

Marise Payne: Thank you. Thank you very much, Samir. I think the question about people to people links is a very important one and it starts at the top, actually, it starts with very, very solid sound relationships between counterparts such as the one that we share the three of us, between, not just us as individuals, but our countries, our officials who work together so effectively, and demonstrably show the value and importance of those relationships. But for Australia, many of our people to people links are created through sports. Your questionnaire is absolutely correct. And the FIFA Women's World Cup coming to Australia and New Zealand that means that France, India, and Australia can all play on the same rectangular field without having to try to teach you, Jean-Yves about cricket. And so I think I have basic French language skills, but I'm not sure that they will extend to, as Jean-Yves knows, I'm not sure they will extend to discussing what happens when people are in and out, and slips and gullies and boundaries and things like that. So I might have to settle for football. Australia has a really strong sports diplomacy programme. It's an absolute passion of ours, and one which is particularly strong across the Pacific, another shared interest between us, of course, is the pursuit of rugby, is seen in girls, young girls particularly thrive in non-traditional sports, like, well, these days, becoming traditional, but formally non-traditional sports. And of course, we have strong interest in cycling and in netball, as well. So, I think the opportunity to maximise engagement in the region through the Women's World Cup is a very powerful one. And in fact, our meeting with Football Federation, Australia is key to this process in Sydney next week, and also very focused on what the legacy of the Women's World Cup looks like. Mind you, I don't think it'll ever stop, Jai and I being completely competitive on cricket, tweet by tweet into the future. I also think that the power of shared engagement in international education is one which cannot be overestimated. The power of shared involvement in international education, whether it is students from Australia going out into the region and more broadly, into places like France, or students from India and France, with the opportunity to come to Australia. We know that it's suffered a significant hiccup, because of COVID-19, and restrictions on travel and movement. But I find, when I talk to students who are a part of the new Colombo Plan in Australia, whose task is to go out into the region and study in the Pacific and in Southeast Asia, and more broadly, that they become the most extraordinary ambassadors, both for the new Colombo Plan itself, but also for Australia and for the countries in which they study. And they are links made for a lifetime, for a generation and in fact, into the future. So I would strongly support those engagements as well. COVID has restricted our capacity to build people to people links, but we have found virtual ways to do it. As you have here tonight, Samir with this Raisina discussion, and we need to maximise those and make sure we make the most of them.

On Myanmar, this is a very challenging and very tragic situation for our friends who had been working so hard on a democratic transition in Myanmar for so long. We've been very clear from Australia's perspective to acknowledge the importance of working with ASEAN on identifying solutions in response to the military coup in Myanmar. ASEAN is key to our Indo Pacific region. Its centrality is fundamental for Australia, and Myanmar is a key member of ASEAN. That said, though, the increase in violence and the increasing number of deaths are deeply concerning. And Australia for one has made some changes in relation to our development assistance programme, in relation to our military to military engagement in particular. I do think, though, that I strongly support the bringing together of an ASEAN leaders meeting in the coming week. That will occur early next week. And I would hope that that has the ability to press upon Myanmar, the vital necessity for the cessation of violence, the cessation of the use of armed force against civilians, and for a very, very focused examination of the options that are put forward by many interlocutors as to ways forward for Myanmar now, but I think we all share our views of concern over what has happened in recent months.

Samir Saran: Thank you, Minister. Minister Jaishankar. The question by Shailaja was also…

Dr. S. Jaishankar:
Let me follow the same order sports, education because Marise brought it up, and Myanmar. Look in sports, you'll never know where you will find talent and how that talent would get organised. Because think back, you know, when the IPL started, one of the great finds of that first IPL season was actually a Dutch fast bowler called Derk Nanis. I don't know if you remember him, though, I know Marise is going to say he is Australian. Right? But he is actually, I think, a kind of a dual passport holder. It sounds much better when you say he's Dutch. But, look at Afghanistan again, to my mind how Afghans have embraced the sports and today when you look at Rashid Khan, it's really unbelievable how far they've come. So I do see sports as an important bonding between nations. I would certainly like to see India as much as I love cricket to get into more sports than just cricket. And I think we're doing that. I mean, you look today, badminton has been a success story, tennis, which by the way, I want to tell you was invented in France was, again a sports where we've done consistently well for some time. So I think part of our prosperity, our rise, our development and a lot of it is something which the government itself is encouraging. We have something called "Khelo India” and "fit India”. I mean, these are moments where we tried; even ministers try to show that they can make some difference out there.

The education part, today, education is at the heart of our relationship with Australia. And I'm very pleased to say it's becoming more and more important with France. I would complement the French because they have actually led the way in giving students some kind of ability to support themselves when they study in France. So in fact, we hold up France as an example to others in Europe saying, can't you do something similar for us? So certainly, when we do our trilateral, I would like very much to discuss education as a common factor between the three of us. When it comes to Myanmar, I think, all of us, certainly the democratic countries where we all have a common position in many ways, but also because we are located differently and our relationships with Myanmar are each unique. We also have a unique position. So we seized of it both bilaterally, I mean we have a common border and we engage with all parties in Myanmar very, very intensively. I should also share with you that we are in fairly regular touch with the ASEAN in terms of what they're doing as indeed, Australia is and possibly so is France. So it's something which all of us will have to find ways of coming together and each sort of doing what they are good at in trying to find what is a common solution.

Samir Saran: There is one more question for you. This is from an audience member who basically asks that since quad is that very large presence and formation in this region, he calls it the wind turbine, do you believe any other grouping is going to be like wind chimes? So how do you create significant plurilateral arrangements that are not overshadowed by the Quad? I think that's the question he is trying to ask.

Dr. S. Jaishankar:
Look, I'm not talking myself down but I do want to say that if there is any arrangement, which is actually a wind turbine, as you call it, it is the ASEAN and it is the ASEAN related platforms. Because if you look at the East Asia Summit, it's a remarkable platform. I mean, where much of Asia, The US, Canada, Russia, Europe, everybody is out there. So, in fact, I mean in terms of the centrality of anybody or platform or a set of mechanisms, I think there's no question that ASEAN is an ASEAN will be central to what is happening in the broader region. I won't confuse it with the Quad. I mean, that's really comparing apples and oranges, I think quad has a different purpose, because you have four countries very comfortable with each other, who agree on a lot of issues, who would like to work together on a lot of issues, some of which I spelled out for you. But again, if I can switch back, going back to the East Asia Summit in ASEAN, we have, tabled India indo Pacific oceans initiative. And I was very pleased that Minister Le Drian confirmed to us that France has agreed to lead the maritime resources pillar of it. Earlier, Australia had told us that they would lead the maritime ecology pillar, Japan has agreed to lead the trade and connectivity pillar. So these are all today, examples of how international relations are being conducted differently but with, as I say, with softer hands and greater imagination, and I think that's really the future of diplomacy as I look at it.

Jean-Yves Le Drian: May, I say something, please?

Samir Saran:
Minister Le Drian please, I'm coming to you, you can certainly intervene. But there's a question for you also from a gentleman from the audience, Rishi, and he says that there is another quad called the southern quad, which is cooperation between USA, Australia, France and New Zealand, and what is the status of that constellation? What is happening there for the viewers in India? Has that made some progress? And of course, you can please intervene and what you wanted to say in terms of what the Minister Jaishankar just shared.

Jean-Yves Le Drian:
First of all, I meant to react on Myanmar, simply to say once again, that, first of all, we talk a great deal about it in Europe. There's a lot of solidarity with Mrs Aung San Suu Kyi, a lot of solidarity with the government that was properly elected, and a lot of protests against the behaviour of the Junta that came out of the coup, and that are continuing with their violent action in a more and more serious manner. That being said, Europe did take measures. The 27 members of the EU adopted sanctions against the main authorities of the Junta. They are prohibited from travelling to Europe. The goods they may have in Europe, are also frozen or any assets they may have. And we also decided of a number of sanctions against Companies, businesses that only operate for the purpose for the benefit of those members of the military. And lastly, we put an end to the assistance to the government. I believe this is a serious attack against democracy in the south east of Asia. And we need to maintain the international pressure.

On a different matter, Marise and Minister Jaishankar you talked about sports and education. We enjoy a long standing relationship with Australia on cycling. Some point in time Australians kept winning everything in France and Cadel Evans is very popular here. As to the issues of training and education, it is a priority for the three of us. Our Indian colleague, mentioned our willingness to put in place in France some training sessions for Indian students, training session so that they can learn French to begin with. And our target is to have 20,000 Indian students in France because that contributes to cultural exchanges, and also to building some sustainable bonds between the two countries with the reciprocity of course. And with Australia at the time, when we began, it was very much regarding education as well include the Sydney but also other ride. I did hear a question about the quad, but I'm not sure I got it properly.

Samir Saran:
It's okay, we are running out of time. We have two minutes left. So what I'm going to tell the poser of the question is that questions are guaranteed answers are not, we will certainly try to attempt it next time. But final thoughts from Minister Payne and then Minister Jaishankar and we will wrap up after that. Final thoughts from you, Madam Minister.

Marise Payne:
Thank you very much Samir and thank you both colleagues for the opportunity to meet virtually like this and to engage in this very important Raisina dialogue 2021. It's fair to say that I have spent a lot of late hours in the night and the early mornings here in Australia, watching both La Tour de France and the IPL cricket. So I can acknowledge both of those as a focus for us here in Australia. I think, Samir, I would say that the values that this discussion has reinforced that Australia like India, and like France, wants an open, inclusive, resilient Indo Pacific region to which we are strong and constructive contributors. It has been a really important message. From Australia's approach central to that is the growing and sustaining of a network of partnerships, whether they're bilateral or regional, multilateral or plurilateral and in small and flexible groupings, like this particular Australia, India, France relationship. I think it's important that we acknowledge that these is an newer and flexible partnerships can actively compliment not compete with existing institutions and alliances and relationships, in fact, they enhance relationships, in my view. So working together, we have that opportunity to coordinate our efforts to identify practical solutions to the challenges that we face, both the urgent and immediate ones, and many of the longer and more strategic ones. So thank you for the invitation from the Raisina dialogue, I absolutely promise to make every effort to attend in person on future occasions and look forward very much to the opportunity to do that. Thank you.

Samir Saran: Thank you Minister. Can I have final word from the Indian External Affairs Minister on this panel.

Dr. S. Jaishankar: Well, I would also like to thank my two colleagues. I think this was a good conversation. And you asked me what is the way to go forward? I think one way to go forward is for us to hold our trilateral in person quickly. I'm looking forward to that. But I do want to say this, look, Indo Pacific is a clear message that India will not be constrained between the Malacca straits and the Gulf of Aden, that our interests, our influence our activities today go way beyond. When we look at a larger canvas, we see Australia, there we see France there. France is very much a part of this canvas, historically, culturally, physically there are a range of activities and projects on which we can all work together. Perhaps the most important quality we bring to this is really that intuitive comfort that we have with each other as societies, as polities, as economies. So I'm very, very confident that what you've seen in the panel today, will be seen in diplomacy tomorrow, which is the three countries working together. And I would very much like to see that grow in the years to come and I look forward to working with my two colleagues in that regard.

Samir Saran: I think that's a great note, to end this discussion on words into action, and three country determined to put together partnership for the future that responds to the needs of the people and puts together a new basis for cooperation in the age of the Indo Pacific and certainly in the decades ahead. So let me thank the ministers for joining us, digitally. Let me apologise to the audience for disappearing for a few moments. This is the perils of the digital age as well. But it all ended well. And thank you so much again, ministers for joining us. I wish you all the best and I wish the French minister a very successful stay in Delhi. Thank you very much, and stay tuned for more conversations from the Risina dialogue.

DISCLAIMER: This has the approximate translation of remarks by Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs. Original remarks were delivered in French.
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