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Modi-Macron talks to figure host of key issues

NEW DELHI (PTI): In their talks on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron are likely to discuss mitigating the global economic consequences of the Ukraine conflict as well as ways to ensure cessation of hostilities in that country, diplomatic sources said.

Modi, currently on a visit to Denmark, will have a brief stopover in Paris on his return journey where he will hold extensive talks with President Macron, who was re-elected to the top post over a week back.

The sources said discussions will also focus how France can continue to be India's "partner of choice" in its quest for becoming self-reliant in the field of defence manufacturing.

The talks will also explore ways to boost cooperation in areas of technology, space and energy, they said.

The two leaders will discuss how to ensure cessation of hostilities in Ukraine and mitigate the global economic consequences of this conflict, the sources said.

They said another focus area of the talks would be to unitedly deal with the challenges in the Indo-Pacific.

Modi and Macron are expected to explore ways to speeding up "positive agenda of solutions" in the region, the sources said.

"The fact that this visit takes place so soon after President Macron's re-election is seen as an exceptional gesture of trust and friendship," said a diplomatic source.

The sources said Modi's meeting with Macron days after his election victory is highly symbolic.

It sends a powerful signal that the two leaders want to make the Indo-French partnership a guiding principle of their foreign policy for the years to come, the sources said.

"It's also a demonstration of the level of personal chemistry between the two leaders, which gives impetus to our joint actions across all fields of cooperation," the source said.

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