Agency, Paris. Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said on Wednesday that he reviewed all issues related to defense relations with his French counterpart. He said that the two countries will fight together against terrorism. The defense minister tweeted after the meeting, saying that there was a fruitful discussion with France’s defense minister Florence Parley during the annual defense talks in Paris. We assessed and reviewed all the issues in our bilateral defense relationship. This is the second ministerial annual defense dialogue between India and France.
The defense ministry statement said that the two ministers also discussed the current regional and international developments related to mutual interest. The two sides discussed ways to further the defense-related dialogue. The two sides also agreed to expand the scope and complexity of the existing regular bilateral joint exercises (Shakti, Varuna and Garuda). Both sides acknowledged that the Indo-French partnership in the Indian Ocean region is important for securing and promoting shared strategic and security interests. Singh and Parley also emphasized the continued implementation of the tasks outlined in the Joint Strategic Vision of India-France Cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region.
Earlier, Rajnath Singh was welcomed at the military salute guard at the headquarters of the French Ministry of Defense on Tuesday night. The Defense Minister said that he expects 18 of the 36 fighter jets to be delivered by February 2021, while the remaining aircraft are expected to be delivered by April-May 2022. Significantly, India had ordered the purchase of 36 fighter aircraft from France in September 2016 under a deal of Rs 59,000 crore.