New Delhi: France’s Foreign Affairs and International Development Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on Wednesday said India and Europe are both victims of terror and can meet the challenge by cooperating.
Delivering the 7th RK Mishra Memorial Lecture, organised by Observer Research Foundation (ORF) in New Delhi, he said: “India and Europe are both victims of terrorism.
“We can meet the challenge of terrorists jointly, by cooperating more closely in the monitoring of terrorist groups, in the fight against radicalisation or against terrorism financing networks, while respecting the fundamental values we have in common, but are unfortunately not common to all.”
Speaking on the theme of “The European Union, an Indispensable Actor in an Uncertain World” Ayrault noted that the European Union and France have a shared history, and shared values, with the US, and shared values.
He said France will continue to work closely with the new US administration irrespective of the uncertainty in President-elect Donald Trump’s policies.
“France and the United States are allies, and this will not change.
“France will swiftly develop close ties with the new administration. No stone will remain unturned to convince them that the interests of the United States are better protected when we together combat climate change under the frame work of a collective approach,” he said.
“These common interests, I am sure, will continue to govern our relations with this country in the long term. And we will find a common ground on most crucial challenges of our times, notably the fight against terrorism, to which the United States, like the European Union, contributes at a global scale,” he added.
Ayrault, however, said “in the face of unilateral temptation or the idea that deals can suffice to resolve world affairs, France will make its voice heard”.
He described increasing populism and nationalism in many nations of Europe and outside as the biggest challenge and called Brexit result unexpected and “a great shock”. However, he said the EU is ready to negotiate with Britain once it notifies its intention to leave the organisation and activates Article 50 of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union.
“The choice of the United Kingdom to leave the EU has, of course, given rise to speculation regarding the future of the European Union with the United Kingdom. My conviction is that Europe will be able to surmount all these fleeting difficulties and that the European construction will continue to offer a future to our continent,” he said.
He said before the British referendum and many times since, EU member states “have reiterated their trust in the European Construction, their attachment to what makes up our identity and our values, which are not empty rhetoric but our reality and our plan”.
This Lecture, instituted in 2010, is organised annually in the memory of ORF founding chairman and leading scholar R.K. Mishra.