Modi tells Macron India will 'go beyond' Paris climate accord

Macron said PM Modi and he had "mainly discussed our commitment to the climate" in their meeting.

Several global leaders have criticised President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the USA from the Paris accord.

Modi said, "India and France enjoy deep-rooted ties".

On his part, Macron said he wants to restate France's full commitment to the fight against climate warming.

The strongman leader is seeking to burnish his country's economic prospects as it inches its way out of the longest recession in two decades sparked by a slump in oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. But France hopes to get a clear confirmation that India, the world's fourth-largest producer of greenhouse gas, will fulfil its commitment and send a strong signal to the global community.

Observing that the world is passing through a crisis, Modi said that he and Macron discussed terrorism extensively, on how to save the world from terror and radicalisation, and how to "go forward in deradicalisation and how to strengthen the fight against terror".

"Paris climate agreement is a shared legacy of the world".

He said that both he and Modi were convinced that India and France can do a lot together in the area of environmental transition and climate change. "We want to improve the cultural relations between India and France".

An enthusiastic Modi said the French centrist's election had "encouraged the whole world". During visits last week to Spain and Berlin - ahead of the USA announcement - Modi expressed his commitment to the accord.

Arriving at the presidential palace, PM Modi, 66, hugged 39-year-old President Macron, in scenes contrasting with Mr Macron's white-knuckle handshake with US President Donald Trump last week. For me and Indians preserving environment is an article of faith.

PM Modi also acknowledged that the menace of terrorism is one of the biggest challenges in front of humanity, while French President Macron assured that his country supports India in her fight against terrorism.

But in a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin earlier this week, Modi stressed that for India "the cohesiveness of the European Union is very important".

France's foreign ministry says more than 1,000 French firms operate in India in sectors ranging from defence to new technologies employing some 300,000 people.

  • Leroy Wright