As former French President Nicolas Sarkozy met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, he gave a commitment that his party or whoever comes to power in the French Presidential elections — scheduled next year — will honour the nuclear and Rafale deals agreed between India and France.
“There is a possibility that in a year there will be a new government in France, possibility (is there) that our party will come to power. Commitment that agreement with the French Republic will be respected. If you sign agreements for nuclear reactors or Rafale, we will commit to these when we come to power. France is 100 per cent behind you whichever government is in power,” said the former French President, addressing a FICCI event.
Sarkozy also met former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj.
He said that it is “absurd” to imagine that the world’s largest democracy is yet to become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. India will soon be the world’s most populous country and “it is really absurd to imagine” that “it is not a permanent member of UNSC”, he said.
“We must ensure India has a permanent membership of the Security Council. How can you ignore a billion Indians?” he said. Stressing that choosing India is an important commitment to make for French companies, he said, “Don’t underestimate difficulties for French companies to come to India. I would also like to see more Indian companies in France”.
“I would not say ‘Make in India’ but ‘Make with India’ because it seems like a better concept with a partnership on equal footing,” he said, adding that, “Many French business leaders want to come (to India). They want rules to be fair and visible,” he added.
On Pathankot attacks, Sarkozy said that “France is by India’s side”. He said the country wants that “India’s neighbours, especially Pakistan must take action so that those who carried out the attacks are brought to book”.
“Pakistan needs to cooperate and those guilty (of terror attacks on India) should be arrested,” he said.