Iran nuke issue: France wants India to convince Tehran to join negotiations

Francois Hollande

Thanking India for its "understanding and support" in France's fight against terrorism in Mali, the French President said the two countries will continue to cooperate and collaborate in eradicating the menace of terrorism that has its roots in poverty.

"India and France began their strategic partnership in 1998 but I would like to call it an exceptional partnership. We have had the most sensitive and crucial fight against terrorism and we have more challenges," he said.

Hollande also assured India that France would do its bit in strengthening security along the Indian Ocean and would help the Indian mission in its role in the security of the region.

Talking about Indian cinema, he lauded the industry as one of the biggest producers of cinema in the world and said France is "really honoured" to celebrate 100 years of Indian cinema at Cannes this year.

Quoting Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, the French President said the French Revolution had shown the way to the countries which fought for independence and said words like independent and justice no longer belong to his country alone.

Lamenting that only 3,000 of the 17 million students in India come to France for higher studies, he pitched the need to bridge the gap and ensure that more students from India travel to his country for studies.

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