India, France discuss defence manufacturing

India, France discuss defence manufacturing

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs of France Jean-Yves Le Drian exchange greetings after their joint press statement in New Delhi on Saturday. PTI

A day after the Supreme Court dismissed pleas for a probe into India-France Rafale fighter jet deal, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Saturday held a discussion on joint manufacturing of military hardware.

Swaraj and Le Drian held talks in New Delhi. They discussed “the broad gamut of the multi-faceted India-France bilateral relations” and exchanged “views on regional and global issues of mutual interest”.

“India and France share a historic and broad-based defence relations,” Swaraj said in a press statement after the meeting with Le Drian. She noted that defence cooperation between India and France included institutional exchanges, joint manufacturing of defence equipment, joint exercise and joint training.

French Foreign Minister is currently on a tour to India. He had a meeting with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai on Friday.

Le Drian earlier held the defence portfolio in French Government. He and his then counterpart Manohar Parrikar, who was Defence Minister of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Government, signed on September 23, 2016 the intergovernmental agreement for the acquisition of 36 Rafale fighter jets for Indian Army from the Dassault Aviation of France.