France reiterated its commitment to support India's bid for permanent membership in a reformed UN Security Council and New Delhi's entry into the Nuclear Suppliers' Group, according to a joint statement issued by the two countries after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with French President Emmanuel Macron.
India has been at the forefront of efforts at the UN to push for urgent long-pending reform of the Security Council, emphasising that it rightly deserves a place at the UN high table as a permanent member.
At present, the UN Security Council comprises five permanent members and 10 non-permanent member countries which are elected for a two-year term by the General Assembly of the United Nations.
The five permanent members are Russia, the UK, China, France and the United States and these countries can veto any substantive resolution. There has been growing demand to increase the number of permanent members to reflect the contemporary global reality.
In a joint statement on Wednesday, India and France agreed to maintain strong coordination in the framework of the G20 and France reiterated its steadfast support for India's bid for permanent membership of the UN Security Council as well as membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
India has said that it continues to engage with members of the NSG for support for an early decision on the country's bid for membership in the grouping.
The 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group or NSG is an elite club of countries that deals with the trade-in nuclear technology and fissile materials besides contributing to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.
China, one of the five nuclear-weapon states, stridently opposes India's NSG bid primarily on the grounds that New Delhi is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Its opposition has made India's entry into the group difficult as the NSG works on the principle of consensus.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Modi met French President Macron in Paris and the two leaders discussed at length bilateral as well as global issues and agreed on an ambitious agenda for the next phase of the India-France Strategic Partnership.
PM Modi, who arrived here from Denmark on the final leg of his three-nation European tour, on Wednesday night held extensive talks with Macron, who was re-elected to the top post over a week back.
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