Delegations from UK, France take part in Raisina Dialogue

New Delhi: Delegations from the United Kingdom and France, amongst other nations, participated in the fourth edition of the Raisina Dialogue, which was inaugurated by Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg on Tuesday.

Sir Mark Sedwill, UK’s National Security Advisor is leading his country’s delegation at the event which will see 600 delegates from over 90 countries participating in discussions regarding geopolitics and geo-economics.

Meanwhile, French diplomat Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, the current Secretary-General (Foreign Secretary) of the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and Admiral Christophe Prazuck, the Chief of the Naval Staff of France is leading the French delegation at New Delhi.

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Both Gourdault-Montagne and Sedwill are slated to participate in the “The Road to 2030: Challenges, Partnerships and Predictions” session on January 10 here, along with Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale.

The UK delegation includes British experts from the Ministry of Defence, Department for International Development, International Counter-Terrorism Unit, Intellectual Property Office and UK Foreign Office.

Other senior British attendees at the conference are former Prime Minister Tony Blair, amongst other dignitaries.

Along with participating in the conference, Gourdault-Montagne will also be holding bilateral meetings with Indian officials on the sidelines of the Raisina Dialogue on January 10 and January 11.

“India and France share a commonality of views and aligned interests on a wide range of issues. Our strategic partnership of 20 years covers defence cooperation, ambitious space programmes, civil nuclear energy initiatives, and established counter-terrorism cooperation. Our two countries also share the same views for a multilateral world, fighting climate change and bringing our people closer together,” an official statement quoted the Secretary-General as saying.

“For the second year in a row, I will attend the Raisina Dialogue as I wish to further strengthen the special bond between our two countries, and assert France’s strong commitment to being India’s all-weather partner,” he further said.

Admiral Prazuck, on the other hand, has been holding continuous engagements since January 7. He held extensive talks with Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Naval Staff of India. Both sides explored ways to further deepen operational cooperation between the two navies.

He will now participate in a panel titled “Indo-Pacific: Ancient Waters and Emerging Geometries” on January 9 at the Raisina Dialogue, along with his Indian, Australian, Japanese and American counterparts. He will share his thoughts on the special strategic partnership between India and France, especially in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) during the event.


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