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France to lead Quad naval drill in Indo-Pacific challenge to China

Five-nation exercise in Bay of Bengal seeks to promote maritime cooperation

French amphibious assault helicopter carrier, Tonnerre, approaches to dock at Cochin Port, in Kochi on March 30.   © AFP/Jiji

NEW DELHI/PARIS -- In a first, India will join its Quad partners -- Australia, Japan and the U.S. -- in a French-led naval drill in the Bay of Bengal next week, as the nations seek to improve Indo-Pacific maritime security.

The first edition of the La Perouse exercise, named after an 18th century French naval officer and explorer, was held in 2019 without India.

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