New Delhi: French foreign minister Alain Juppe has urged the Group of 20 (G20) developed and emerging economies, meeting in Cannes in early November, to “send a strong message of unity and economic cooperation” to end Europe’s two-year-old debt crisis.
The G20 must “show that we support global growth and keep the volatility of the financial markets in check. We must demonstrate that fiscal consolidation and debt reduction will not be implemented at the expense of economic growth”, Juppe said in a speech in New Delhi. The French minister had discussed the agenda for the 3-4 November meet with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and finance minister Pranab Mukherjee.
India is a part of the G20 that was created as a response to the financial crises of the late 1990s and to a growing recognition that emerging market countries were not adequately included in the core of global economic discussion and governance. Its influence and relevance increased in the wake of the 2008 global economic recession.
France’s foreign minister Alain Juppe. Photo: Reuters
The euro zone debt crisis began in Greece, but has since spread to Ireland and Portugal and could also affect Spain and Italy. France and Germany, the two strongest economies in Europe, are piecing together a crisis resolution plan in time for a European Union summit on 23 October preceding the summit of G20 leaders.
In his speech, Juppe also touched on terrorism and other issues.
“On terrorism, we (France and India) are in total agreement. The threat is still present. We will, therefore, strengthen cooperation and we urge Pakistan to do everything in its power to prevent terrorists from launching strikes from its territory,” he said.
The remarks come in the wake of US secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s message to Pakistan during a visit to the region that it cannot keep “snakes” in its backyard and expect them only to bite its neighbours.
On Libya, Juppe said that with the death of former Libyan leader, Moammar Gadhafi, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) operations could be considered over and the new regime in control of the entire country. French President Nicolas Sarkozy spearheaded a Franco-British move in Nato to back the revolt against Gadhafi since 31 March. In the United Nations-mandated military operation to protect civilians, Nato has since 31 March been conducting air strikes, enforcing a no-fly zone, and maintaining an arms embargo with naval patrols.
Juppe also said Gadhafi, who was killed on Thursday after being captured by Libyan fighters when they overran the 69-year-old’s bastion of Sirte, was offered “good conditions” for surrendering to the Libyan fighters, which he had refused.