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France, India agree to boost Indo-Pacific ties

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By AP
French President Emmanuel Macron, right, speaks with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a group photo at the G20 summit.
French President Emmanuel Macron, right, speaks with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a group photo at the G20 summit.   -   Copyright  Ludovic Marin/Pool via AP Photo

French President Emmanuel Macron and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have agreed to boost ties in the Indo-Pacific region during a meeting on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit.

Macron's office said France and India will open a “strategic dialogue” next week in Paris to set a common agenda. The talks will address bilateral, regional and international issues.

France has said India is its “main partner” in the Indo-Pacific area after the announcement in September of a secretly negotiated submarine deal between Australia, the U.S. and Britain.

Macron’s office listed “trust” and “independence” amid principles which must guide France and India’s actions in the region shaken by concerns over the growing influence of China.

Macron also met Saturday with Presidents Joko Widodo of Indonesia and Moon Jae-in of South Korea about similar issues.