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French defence minister in India on 2-day visit, holds talks with Sitharaman

French Defence Minister Florence Parly will also call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and meet National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.

india Updated: Oct 27, 2017 13:36 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, New Delhi
France’s Florence Parley meeting Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday.(Mohd Zakir / HT PHOTO)

India and France on Friday held wide-ranging talks aimed at further boosting defence and security ties, with a focus on co-development of military platforms, and enhancing cooperation in the maritime sphere.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her French counterpart Florence Parly deliberated on a host of key issues, including the regional security situation, transfer of critical technology for various defence projects and ways to ramp up overall strategic ties, an official said.

All aspects of defence and security cooperation between the two countries as well as ways to enhance maritime cooperation were discussed in the meeting, the official added.

Parly, who is here on a two-day visit, will call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and meet National Security Adviser Ajit Doval. She is expected to lay the ground for French President Emmanuel Macron’s upcoming trip to India.

Parley is also likely to push for a follow on order of additional Rafale fighter jets, after the delivery of 36 jets under a Rs 58,000 crore deal finalised last year.

The French Embassy had said in a statement on Thursday that Parly’s visit is aimed at strengthening all aspects of France’s “fast developing” defence cooperation with India, its foremost Asian strategic partner.

It said Parly’s talks with Sitharaman will range from defence cooperation, in particular maritime security, joint exercises of the armed forces and counter-terrorism to industrial and technological partnership under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

First Published: Oct 27, 2017 13:20 IST