French Minister for the Armed Forces Mrs. Florence Parly, called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi today in New Delhi. She briefed the Prime Minister about developments in bilateral defence cooperation.
The Prime Minister said that defence cooperation is one of the key pillars of the Strategic Partnership between India and France, and called for greater cooperation in the Make in India framework in defence manufacturing and joint research & development.
The two leaders also discussed regional and global issues of mutual interest. The Prime Minister said that he looks forward to receiving President Macron in India at his earliest convenience.
On Friday, Parly 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, with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
The two defence ministers also decided that India and France will jointly conduct naval exercise ‘Varuna’ from next year.
Parly, who is in India on a two-day visit, is expected to lay the ground for French President Emmanuel Macron’s upcoming trip to India.
Parly 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 that Parly’s visit is aimed at strengthening all aspects of France’s “fast developing” defence cooperation with India, its foremost Asian strategic partner.