Defence News India: Defence minister Rajnath Singh and French minister for the armed forces Florence Parly Tuesday held the second India-France Ministerial level Annual Defence Dialogue in Paris. During the Annual Defence Dialogue held in Paris, the two Ministers comprehensively reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral defence cooperation, which is a key pillar of India-France Strategic Partnership, said the ministry of defence.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh is in France on a two day official visit to receive the delivery of first Rafale fighter jet manufactured by Dassult Aviation.
France is a close defence partner, supplying Scorpene class diesel-electric stealth submarines and Rafale fighter jets to India. All three services of Indian military also conduct regular bilateral joint military exercises with their French counterparts but they are still not at the scale of exercises conducted with countries like the US and Russia.
Both the defence ministers exchanged views on contemporary regional and international developments of mutual interest. Both sides discussed ways to further deepen defence-related official as well as operational level interactions.
“The two nations agreed to expand the scope and complexity of the existing regular bilateral joint exercises – SHAKTI, VARUNA and GARUDA,” said the ministry of defence in a statement.
Both the nations reiterated the importance of India-France partnership in the Indian Ocean Region for preserving and promoting the common strategic and security interests.
“The two Ministers noted the continuing implementation of actions outlined in the “Joint Strategic Vision of India-France Cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region” (March 2018),” said the ministry of defence in the statement.
“Strong cooperation between India and France will continue to grow and contribute to global peace, prosperity and environmental sustainability,” said defence minister Rajnath Singh.
India-France also reaffirmed the strong intention of the two sides to further deepen bilateral cooperation on counter terrorism as both the countries have suffered unspeakable horror at the hands of terrorists.
The Indian delegation included Defence Secretary Dr. Ajay Kumar, senior officials from the Ministry of Defence and the three Services.