Modi, Macron discuss diversifying strategic partnership

Modi, Macron discuss diversifying strategic partnership

France's President Emmanuel Macron (L) and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi speak during a bilateral meeting on the second day of the G20 Leaders' Summit in Buenos Aires, on December 01, 2018. (AFP Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday met French President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of the G-20 summit here and discussed ways to deepen and diversify the strategic partnership between the two countries by enhancing trade and people-to-people ties.

The meeting between the two leaders took place amidst the attack by the Opposition over alleged corruption in the controversial Rafale fighter jet deal with France. India inked an inter-governmental agreement with France in September 2016 for the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of around Rs 58,000 crore.

The Congress party has been alleging massive irregularities in the deal, claiming that the government was procuring each aircraft at a cost of over Rs 1,600 crore as against Rs 526 crore finalised by the UPA government. The government has rejected the charges.

"Had an excellent meeting with President @EmmanuelMacron. We had wide ranging discussions on ways to deepen and diversify the India-France strategic partnership, particularly by enhancing trade and people-to-people ties," Modi tweeted.

The two leaders also discussed issues relating to terrorist financing and cooperation in maritime security among others.

"PM @narendramodi had a productive meeting with French President @EmmanuelMacron on the margins of #G20Argentina. Both leaders discussed common front against terrorist financing, and cooperation in maritime security, renewable energy and reform of international institutions," External Affairs Ministry Ravish Kumar tweeted after the meet.