India & France discuss ways to ramp up strategic ties

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

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 Parley 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.

Ms. Parley, who is in New Delhi 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.

Ms. 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 yesterday that Parley’s visit is aimed at strengthening all aspects of France’s “fast developing” defence cooperation with India, its foremost Asian strategic partner.

It said Ms. Parley’s talks with Ms. 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.

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