India, France sign defence cooperation deal
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India, France sign defence cooperation deal

The defence agreement will pave the way for transfer of advanced armament technologies.

india Updated: Feb 20, 2006 23:00 IST

France and India on Monday signed a comprehensive defence agreement, giving a major boost to strategic bilateral ties.

The defence deal will pave the way for transfer of advanced armament technologies.

The Defence cooperation agreement was signed by visiting French Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie and her Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee after a summit-level meeting between French President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

France is third country after Russia and United States with which India has signed such a defence cooperation agreement, with the military sales from Paris averaging 300 million to 2 billion Euro's a year, for the past few years.

Under the agreement, the two countries announced setting up of joint committee, which would be responsible for defining, organising and coordinating bilateral cooperation agreements in defence sector.

The committee on the Indian side would be headed by Defence Secretary and by a representative of the French Defence Minister.

After inking the agreement, the defence ministers from the two countries held a nearly 45-minute one-to-one meeting, which was followed by delegation level talks.

The French President is accompanied by Chairman and CEO's of at least six top French armament companies including Dassault aviation, Sencma, Thales and others, which already have a huge presence in India.

France, along with Russia, is a major source of weapons supply to India and some French conglomerates competing for multi-billion dollar defence deals for sale of helicopters, fighters, radars and other advanced systems.

First Published: Feb 20, 2006 20:04 IST