India and France on Tuesday explored ways to strengthen cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, including under a trilateral mechanism with Australia to address emerging challenges in the maritime and space domains.
In the talks between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French side also decided to be part of India's Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI).
The two sides also recognised the importance of fast tracking the discussions on an India-EU trade and investment agreement, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.
The two foreign ministers held extensive talks covering all aspects of the bilateral strategic ties as well as regional and global challenges.
"They explored ways to strengthen cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, including the India-France-Australia trilateral mechanism, addressing emerging challenges in the maritime and space domains and working together in the area of climate action and biodiversity protection," the MEA said.
"In this regard, India welcomes France's decision to take up the 'Maritime Resources' pillar of India's Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI)," it said in a statement.