New Delhi: France on Monday said it welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's proposal for a global conference on terrorism, saying the fight against the menace was one of its priorities.
Visiting French Minister of State for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean Baptiste Lemoyne, said “every single initiative to fight terrorism is welcome because it is a threat to every country in the world".
He was speaking at an event organised by the French embassy ahead of meetings with Indian officials. The comment was in response to remarks made by Modi while addressing the Maldives parliament on Saturday. "Terrorism is not just a threat for a country, but to the entire civilisation," Modi had said. "The international community has actively arranged for a global convention and many conferences on the threat of climate change. (So) why not on the issue of terrorism?" Modi had asked.
According to Lemoyne, “Everything that can be done to unite efforts (against terrorism) is welcome. It's (terrorism) a global challenge like climate change. We will be closely looking at this initiative," he said. "The fight against terrorism is at the heart of our priorities... France stands alongside India on this... and I can say that we have strong relations on this front," he added.
Lemoyne's trip is the first French ministerial visit after the Narendra Modi government took office for a second term on 30 May.
It was France that moved the proposal at the UN to ban Pakistan-based terrorist group chief Maulana Masood Azhar under United Nations’ norms within days of the 14 February Pulwama suicide attack in Kashmir that claimed the lives of 40 Indian security personnel. The French proposal was supported by the US and Britain and combined pressure from the three countries besides Russia resulted in China dropping its objections to the UN declaring Azhar an international terrorist under its norms.
The French proposal moved in February was the second attempt by France to get Azhar listed with a previous effort falling by the wayside due to objections by Beijing.