Defence News India: Defence minister Rajnath Singh Tuesday held talks with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris. India and France are strategic partners and cooperate closely in the field of nuclear energy, climate change and defence. Rajnath Singh, who arrived in Paris on Monday for a two-day official visit to take delivery of first Rafale jet, held a comprehensive discussion on the key aspects of bilateral defence partnership with the French leader. Both the nations also resolved to maintain the momentum in their bilateral defence relations.
“I thanked President Macron for his strong support to further intensifying our strategic partnership, especially in the defence sector, with India and for our ‘Make in India’ initiatives,” Rajnath Singh said after the meeting.
Rajnath Singh also thanked the French President for the strong support by France to India’s strategic interests and principles, including in fighting terrorism.
Both France and India are victim of international terrorism and they cooperate on multilateral and international forums to counter the menace of terrorism.
Earlier in the day, after his arrival in Paris, Rajnath Singh had tweeted that France is India’s important strategic partner and its special relationship with India goes far beyond the realm of formal ties.
“My visit to France is aimed at expanding the existing strategic partnership between both the countries,” said Rajnath Singh.
Rajnath Singh also expressed his deepest condolences, on behalf of the Indian Government and its people, upon the demise of former French President Jacques Chirac, saying that he had played a decisive role in forging India-France Strategic Partnership.
Rajnath Singh is in France on a two-day official visit to take delivery of the first Rafale fighter jet for Indian Air Force. India and France had signed a bilateral government to government deal in September 2016 to acquire 36 Rafale fighters in flyaway condition to meet the urgent operational needs of Indian Air Force.
Under the deal valued at 7.8 billion euros, India will also get advanced avionics and weapon suit to meet India specific requirements.