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INTERVIEW
‘We Want To Improve the Indigenous Content And Reduce Import of Aeronautical Components’
Ambassador of France to India, Jerome Bonnafont

You have been in India for a few years now. What have been the high-points of your tenure and what are the main challenges that you face?

I have been in India for three years now and my experience has been enriched by an unprecedented number of very high level visits. President Nicolas Sarkozy came to India on 24-26 January, 2008, both on a state visit and also as the chief guest for the Republic Day Parade. Same year, on September 29-30, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited France. He first went to Marseilles for the European Union-India Summit, as we were chairing the EU. It was an important Summit because it was just the beginning of the financial crisis. This was where we urged a G-20 Summit to be convened to address the crisis. Marseilles was followed by the bilateral visit to Paris where we signed among other things, the bilateral agreement on civil-nuclear cooperation. The following year, on 14 July, 2009, Prime Minister Singh again came to Paris as the chief guest of our National Day (Bastille Day) and the Indian armed forces participated in the parade on Champ Elysees. And now, once again, President Sarkozy will be visiting India in a few weeks accompanied by a high-level delegation. Hence, there has been enormous and intense political contact between the two countries in the last few years. Moreover, the bilateral visits have been complemented by several meetings on the sidelines of multilateral international events, be it G-20 Summit, Commonwealth Summit etc. All these are reflective of a special personal relationship between our leaders.
 
 
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