New French, EU envoys present credentials to President

President Ram Nath Kovind.

New Delhi,  New French ambassador to India Emmanuel Lenain and the European Union Ambassador Ugo Astuto on Thursday presented their credentials to President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Lenain underscored the historic ties of friendship and trust between the two nations and said the two sides are united by a strategic partnership since 1998, which recently expanded to include digital technology and cybersecurity.

Astuto said on the occasion: “It is a great honour for me to represent the European Union in India and work for a strengthened strategic partnership between the two of the world’s largest democracies.”

Lenain also highlighted France’s determination to deepen the two countries’ strategic cooperation, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region.

He shared France’s desire to forge a partnership for the future with India by supporting the major programmes shaping tomorrow’s India, notably in the areas of sustainable urban development, transport, energy, and new technologies and also combatting climate change, said a statement from the French Embassy here.

Astuto said the European Union and India upgraded their long-standing relationship to a strategic partnership in 2004, based on their common goals and principles. Since then, the EU and India have been cooperating closely, reinforcing political, economic and people-to-people ties. This cooperation was further broadened at the last summit in 2017 and has received new momentum through the adoption of the EU’s strategy on India, in November 2018, said an EU statement.

He said: “The EU and India can draw upon shared values of democracy and pluralism and their common belief in multilateralism to foster a co-operative approach to international relations, upholding the values and principles of the UN Charter. We look forward to further building on our collaboration to tackle key global challenges such as climate change and implementation of Sustainable Development Goals.”

The EU and India enjoy strong trade and investment relations and are members of the G20, where they co-operate in shaping the global economic agenda, supporting sustainable development and the multilateral international trade system. The EU is also collaborating with India on several flagship initiatives such as Smart Cities, Clean Ganga, as well as in the context of the International Solar Alliance.