PM Narendra Modi for greater cooperation with France in defence manufacturing

Defence Ministry Nirmala Sitharaman Status equivalence Military officers and civilians Defence officers status India news Indian Express

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi

The Varuna naval exercise is an integral part of France-India strategic relationship in the 21st century and consists of naval cooperation drills between the French Navy and the Indian Navy.

An official statement from the Defense Ministry said the two ministers "reviewed ongoing initiatives to further strengthen bilateral defense cooperation as a key pillar of the strategic partnership between India and France".

Modi, who met France's Defence Minister Florence Parly, discussed regional and global issues of mutual interest.

The ministers reiterated their strong intention to further expand bilateral cooperation on counter- terrorism.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday interacted with industry representatives from Indian as well as foreign companies in defence sector at a round table on "Energising Make in India".

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The sources said the French side explored the possibility of a follow-on order of additional Rafale fighter jets being placed by India. She also paid tributes to fallen soldiers at the Amar Jawan Jyoti.

On Oct. 28, Parly will call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for wide-ranging talks ahead of President Emmanuel Macron's state visit.

Parly was in Nagpur in Maharashtra on Friday to attend the ceremony to lay the foundation stone for the Dassault Reliance Aerospace Limited (DRAL) manufacturing facility in Mihan.

India had signed a Rs. 58,000-crore deal with France for the supply of 36 Rafale jets a year ago and the IAF was pitching for procuring another fleet of 36. She will also meet National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

The French Minister will conclude her India trip in Mumbai, with visits to Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL) and the Western Naval Command.

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