Indian Navy Finally Gets Access To Strategic French Base Near Mauritius

The Indian and French Navy for the first time conducted joint patrols from the Reunion Island which is an overseas region of France and an island east of Madagascar and 175 km southwest of Mauritius.

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According to the report in The Hindu, India has carried out Coordinated Patrols (CORPAT) only with maritime neighbours and had rejected a similar offer by the US.

“The Indian Navy carried out a joint patrol with the French Navy last month from the Reunion Island. The patrol was conducted by a P-8I aircraft with French Navy personnel on board,” The Hindu quoted some defence sources.

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Earlier, as EurAsian Times reported, New Delhi will deploy a naval aircraft at France’s reunion island as part of join surveillance mission with France in the southern Indian Ocean. This was announced by the French President Emmanuel Macron during his visit to La Réunion.

In his speech in French at the business forum, Macron laid out the strategic importance of Reunion in the Indian Ocean and the need to position it within the axis of the African and Indian subcontinent.

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“We are working very closely with India. In the first quarter of 2020, a patrol aircraft from the Indian Navy will be deployed at La Reunion to participate in surveillance missions,” said Macron.

In March 2018, French President visited India and along with counterpart Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a “Joint Strategic Vision of India-France Cooperation in the Indian Ocean region”. It was also during that visit that the two sides signed an agreement for “Provision of Reciprocal Logistics Support” that would allow each other to access the other’s military facilities.

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President Macron had also acknowledged that France’s closer ties with India came from a “profound change” as a result of a common strategic agenda. “This common security agenda in the region is an agenda of maritime surveillance, protection of our marine areas, construction of a joint agenda to avoid any form of hegemony or intrusion,” Macron had stated.