Minister for the Armed Forces of France, Florence Parly is on her maiden 2-day visit to India. She met the Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman with the objective of boosting defence and security ties, with a special focus on co-development of military platforms and enhancing cooperation in the maritime sphere.
An official told the Hindustan Times that all the ministers discussed all aspects of defence and security cooperation between the two countries as well as ways to enhance maritime cooperation.
In an exclusive interview with TOI, on Thursday, Parly had said that "France would take into account your country's legitimate interest of having 'Make in India' components" if India decides to go in for another 36 Rafale fighters. The first 36 jets are scheduled to be delivered to IAF by 2022 under the Rs 59,000 crore deal inked in September last year.
She also agreed to "strongly support" projects for defence manufacturing under the "Make in India" initiative as well as promote defence technology and R&D cooperation.
The French Embassy issued a statement on Thursday saying that Parly’s visit is aimed at strengthening all aspects of France’s “fast developing” defence cooperation with India.
Parly will also be meeting the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, to start a dialogue before the forthcoming visit of President Emmanuel Macron to New Delhi. She also paid tributes to martyred Indian soldiers at Amar Jawan Jyoti in Delhi.
Parly will be present at the foundation stone laying ceremony of Dassault Reliance Aerospace Limited (DRAL) in Nagpur. It is supposed to carry out offset requirements as part of the Rafale deal between India and France.