In the aftermath of Cyclone AMPHAN that ravaged several parts of West Bengal, President of France Emmanuel Macron wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveying his heartfelt condolences and full solidarity on behalf of the French people.
French diplomatic sources, quoted by ANI, said that President Macron has offered to extend any support that India might consider necessary to come to the aid of those directly affected by the cyclone.
The super cyclone AMPHAN, that claimed an estimated 85 lives in West Bengal, is said to be the deadliest in the Bay of Bengal area since 1999.
President Macron, in his letter, also underscored importance of cooperation between the two countries at multilateral level and the support that India will be in a position to extend to France’s actions initiated under G20 as well as to the Access to Covid Tools – Accelerator (ACT-A) initiative, which will play a vital role in providing equitable access to all for diagnostics, treatments and immunisation.
The diplomatic sources further added that the French Development Agency has finalised a concessional loan of 200 million euros, which will bolster the World Bank in providing additional social protection to the most vulnerable in India.
In April, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a telephonic conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron and they agreed that the expert teams of both countries would “actively share information on measures to prevent the spread of the virus, and research on treatment and vaccines”.
The leaders discussed the domestic and international aspects of the crisis, and underlined the importance of global collaboration and solidarity in the present situation, according to a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs.
According to the MEA, Macron “strongly agreed” with PM Modi’s view that the COVID-19 crisis is a “turning point in modern history”, and offers the world an opportunity to forge a new human-centric concept of globalisation.
Macron also “warmly welcomed” PM Modi’s suggestion that the practice of yoga offers a convenient means of ensuring mental and physical well-being for people confined to their homes by the pandemic, the MEA said.
“Both leaders agreed that the India-France partnership could contribute to advancing a spirit of human-centric solidarity in the present difficult times,” the statement said.