French President Emmanuel Macron has said that the Rafale deal was a “government-to-government” discussion and he was not in power when the multi-billion dollar agreement for 36 fighter jets was signed between India and France.
Briefing a press conference on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session, Macron was asked if the Indian government had at any point told France or Dassault — the French aerospace major — that they had to accept Reliance as the Indian partner for the Rafale deal.
“I will be very clear. It was a government-to-government discussion and I just want to refer to what Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi very clearly said a few days ago,” Macron, who became French President in May last year, told reporters without elaborating.
“I don’t have any other comment. I was not in charge at that time and I know that we have very clear rules,” he said in his first comment on the issue.
Macron, who assumed the presidency in May 2017, emphasised that this is a government-to-government discussion and “this contract is part of a broader framework which is military and defence” coalition between India and France.
The deal had consolidated, to provide Rafale Jets with all Weapons, Technology transfer at the cost of 97.23 Million Euros per Jet.
Air Marshal SBP Sinha presented a 10 point defence as to why 36 jet deal was better than earlier one in many ways. “Rafale was procured with best in class weapons, only because it was procured through a Government-to-Government process,” he said.
The delivery of the jets is scheduled to begin from September, 2019.