Paris [France], Oct 13 (NT): Amid the opposition’s allegations and hullabaloo over the 2016 Rafale deal inked between India and France, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday visited to the production plant of French aerospace major, Dassault Aviation, in Argenteuil near Paris. Sitharaman also met Dassault Aviation's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Eric Trappier here.
Worth mention here The Defence Minister is on a three-day visit to France for the first India-France Ministerial level yearly Defence Talks. She took part in the meeting with her French counterpart Florence Parly. During the defense dialogue held on October 11 in Paris, the two ministers widely reviewed the whole extent of the bilateral defense cooperation. It is a key pillar of the India-France strategic ties. They also talked about contemporary regional and international developments of mutual interest. Both sides exchanged views on ways to extend defense-related official as well as operational level interactions. It was agreed to develop the scope and complexity of the regular joint exercises such as Shakti, Varuna and Garuda in the future.
Recognising that India-France ties in the Indian Ocean Region is important for preserving and encouraging the mutual strategic and security interests. Both the ministers asserted the continuing implementation of the "Joint Strategic Vision of India-France cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region".
During the visit, Sitharaman also addressed a special gathering on the 'India-France Defence Engagement in a Multi-polar World' at the French Military College's Institute for Strategic Research. This is a well-known think-tank for military and strategic affairs located in Paris.