As India and France look at closing the multi-billion Euro deal for 36 Rafale fighter jets soon, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will meet his French counterpart Jean Yves Le Drian in Singapore this week.
Parrikar will be travelling to Singapore on June 2 to attend the Shangri-La Dialogue from June 3-5.
“Both Indian and French Defence Ministers will meet on June 3. Rafale among others will be discussed,” a defence source said.
The issues like consensus on actions to be taken in case of a material breach, stringent liability clause and guarantee by French side are likely to be discussed.
Parrikar had last week said the government is looking at concluding the much-hyped Rafale deal next month, more than a year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the purchase of 36 fighter jets during his visit to France.
The deal was announced by Modi in April last year during his visit to France when he said India would purchase 36 Rafales in a government-to-government contract.
Soon after the announcement, the Defence Ministry scrapped a separate process that was on to purchase 126 Rafales, built by French defence giant Dassault Aviation.
It is expected that the deal would work out to be about 7.8 Billion Euros including the missiles and other support system.
The Shangri-La Dialogue is an inter-governmental security forum held annually by an independent think-tank, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and is attended by defence ministers and military chiefs of 28 Asia-Pacific countries.
Last year, US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter had attended the dialogue along with German and the French Defence Ministers among others.
Subjects to be debated in this year’s dialogue include how to meet Asia’s complex security challenges, how to manage military competition in Asia and how to make defence policy in uncertain times. PTI SAP AMS ZMN AMS