India, France & UAE trilateral gears up for Indian Ocean play

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, February 4: Clearly gearing up to push China out of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), the trilateral of India, France and the UAE on Saturday firmed up plan to scale up their collaborations for energy transition, climate change and critical initiatives. The trilateral bracing up for multidimensional cooperation in the IOR is seemingly to checkmate the growing influence of China after several nations in the zone have come under unprecedented debt-trap net of Beijing.

The trilateral has committed that defence is an area of close cooperation between the three countries. “Therefore, efforts will be undertaken to further promote compatibility, and joint development and co-production, whilst seeking out avenues for further collaboration and training between the three countries’ defence forces,” said the Ministry of External Affairs in a statement.
On the margins of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York in September, 2019, the Foreign Ministers of France, India, and the UAE had met for the first time in a trilateral format. “In acknowledgement of their shared desire to promote international stability and prosperity, and to further build upon the constructive and collaborative ties that exist between the three countries, the Foreign Ministers of France, India, and the UAE agreed to establish a formal trilateral cooperation initiative, with the aim of expanding cooperation in various fields of mutual interest,” said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in an official statement.

As countries at the very forefront of technological innovation, the development of trilateral cooperation between relevant academic and research institutions and efforts to promote co-innovation projects, technology transfer, and entrepreneurship will be encouraged.

On Saturday, a phone call between the three Ministers to adopt a roadmap for the implementation of the trilateral initiative to serve as a forum to promote the design and execution of cooperation projects in the fields of energy, with a focus on solar and nuclear energy, as well as in the fight against climate change and the protection of biodiversity, particularly in the Indian Ocean region (IOR). “For this purpose, the three countries will explore the possibility of working with the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) to pursue concrete, actionable projects on clean energy, the environment, and biodiversity,” added the MEA in the statement.
The trilateral initiative will serve as a platform to expand cooperation between the three countries’ development agencies on sustainable projects. Furthermore, it was agreed that the three countries will seek to ensure greater alignment of their respective economic, technological, and social policies with the objectives of the Paris Agreement, added the statement.
“In support of these endeavours, a range of trilateral events will be organized in the framework of the Indian Presidency of the G20 and the UAE’s hosting of COP-28 in 2023, respectively. The three countries also agreed to expand their cooperation through initiatives such as the Mangrove Alliance for Climate led by the UAE and the Indo-Pacific Parks Partnership led by India and France,” said the MEA.

It was agreed that the three countries should seek to focus on key issues such as single-use plastic pollution, desertification, and food security in the context of the International Year of Millets-2023. The three sides also underlined their keen desire to cooperate in the field of the circular economy under the aegis of India’s Mission LiFE, added the statement.

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