Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrapped up his six-day, four-nation tour after completing his last leg in France. Both the countries vowed to work together for the implementation of the landmark Paris climate agreement, in the aftermath of US President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the pact. As Modi met newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron, it was soon established that both the leaders spoke on the same wavelength. They voiced concern over the growing threat of terrorism worldwide.
Modi's visit closely followed Trump's maiden Europe tour and it was evident how the European states really felt about both the leaders. As Modi hugged the 29 year old Macron, in a massive contrast to the French Prez's white-knuckle, clenched-jawed, handshake with the American billionaire last week, the Indian leader said the French centrist's election had “encouraged the whole world”. Terrorism and Climate Change were the prominently discussed topics
Modi said protecting 'Mother Earth' was part of Indian culture, “For Indians, environmental protection is a profession of faith because we learnt it in the vedas. He said the accord represented “Sanjhi Virasat” (shared heritage) of the whole world, adding that it is “our duty to give a gift to the next generation.” Macron said he would visit India by the end of the year for a summit on solar power, a field where the two planned greater cooperation and on which they hoped to rope in “many other countries”.
About terrorism, Modi said, “Terrorism is one of the biggest challenges the world is facing today.” He informed that both he and Macron discussed extensively on how to save the world from terror and radicalisation. “We cannot see the danger of climate change but we can see the horrific effects of terrorism, we can feel it. Innocent people, women, children lose their lives to terror. Every child in France knows the face of terror,” Modi said. “The world needs to unite to defeat the menace of terrorism.”
During his visit to Russia, Modi held wide-ranging talks with President Vladimir Putin and signed a total of five agreements including credit protocol for two additional nuclear reactors at Kudankulam. Moscow had been pushing India to sign the agreement for the past eight months, with Russia's deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin making it a point to take up the issue with Modi on May 17.
While the agreement had missed two deadlines earlier, Modi said finalisation of the agreement would further deepen cooperation in civil nuclear energy between the two countries. Both India and Russia strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations in a joint declaration and stressed that there could be no justification whatsoever for any acts of terrorism, whether based upon ideological, religious, political, racial, ethnic, or any other reasons.
“Together, we will continue efforts to combat international terrorism, which poses a great threat to the maintenance of peace and security. We are convinced that the unprecedented spread of this threat requires a decisive collective response on the part of the entire global community, without double standards and selectivity, in accordance with international law and the UN Charter,” a statement issued, said.
Modi began his tour with Germany, stopping by Spain next. Both the countries decided to widen defence partnership, conclude a civil nuclear deal and share best practices to jointly fight terror. In the first PM-level visit made to Spain in the past three decades, Modi and his Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy held talks to strengthen strategic partnership amid signing of seven agreements including on cyber security and transfer of sentenced persons.
An Indo-Spanish joint statement following bilateral talks between both the leaders said, “We reiterate that the fight against terrorism requires a robust international cooperation, and we call on all states to fully implement SC Resoluton 1373 and all other relevant SC Resolutions.” Without naming Pakistan, it noted, “States and entities which encourage, support, finance terrorism... should be subjected to international laws... International community (should) end selective or partial approaches to combating terrorism.”