The French Connection

On her first visit, French armed forces minister gets a sense of Indo-French cooperation

A FORCE Report

In order to strengthen France’s developing defence cooperation with India and in preparation for the upcoming state visit of French President Emmanuel Macron, France’s armed forces minister, Florence Parly was on her first official visit to India starting October 27-28.

Post her arrival, Parly paid a floral tribute at Amar Jawan Jyoti and received a guard of honour at the ministry of defence. Later, the French minister proceeded for bilateral consultation with her Indian counterpart, Nirmala Sitharaman.

The two ministers held talks ranging from defence operational cooperation, in particular on maritime security, joint exercises of the armed forces, counter-terrorism, to industrial and technological partnership under the ‘Make in India’ initiative. Both the countries also agreed to actively explore additional measures to facilitate operational level interactions between their respective armed forces.

The ministers also reviewed ongoing initiatives to further strengthen bilateral defence cooperation as a key pillar of the strategic partnership between India and France. They also discussed regional and international developments of mutual interest.

The French minister also visited MIHAN SEZ, Nagpur and participated in the foundation stone-laying ceremony of Dassault Reliance Aerospace Limited (DRAL) by its joint promoters, Chairman Reliance Group, Anil Ambani and CMD Dassault Aviation, Eric Trappier in the presence of minister of road transport and highways, shipping, and water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation, Nitin Gadkari and chief minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis.

Under Joint Venture company, DRAL (51 per cent Reliance Aerostructure and 49 per cent Dassault Aviation) facility will manufacture several components of the offset obligation connected to the purchase of 36 Rafale Fighters from France, signed between the two governments in September 2016.

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