French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed 'unrelenting fight' against terror, after holding a 35-minute meeting with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in France. According to exclusive details, the President of France has extended his support against radical Islamic terror, days after US President Donald Trump's similar assertation in Houston alongside PM Modi.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh shared the first photos of the meeting with French President Macron in Paris. Rajnath Singh called on French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday and the two leaders discussed stronger India-France defence and strategic ties during their "very warm and productive" meeting.
"The meeting demonstrated the depth of India-France bilateral partnership, especially in the defence sector, that has significantly strengthened in recent times. Both leaders resolved to take the relationship to the next higher level," said a statement issued by the ministry after the meeting.
Rajnath Singh is on a three-day visit to France to receive the consignment of the 36 Rafale aircrafts as part of the intergovernmental contract. Defence Minister will travel in a French military plane to Mérignac, from Paris, to receive the first Rafale combat aircraft, according to ANI.
India had ordered 36 Rafale fighter jets from France in a deal worth Rs 59,000 crore in September 2016. While the formal handover ceremony takes place this week, the first batch of four Rafale jets will fly to their home base in India by May 2020.
All 36 jets are expected to arrive in India by September 2022, for which the IAF has been reportedly undertaking preparations, including readying the required infrastructure and training of pilots. he handover ceremony will be followed by the annual Indo-French Defence Dialogue between Singh and French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly back in Paris on Tuesday evening.
The Rafale is a twin-jet fighter aircraft able to operate from both an aircraft carrier and a shore base. The manufacturers describe it as a fully versatile aircraft which can carry out all combat aviation missions to achieve air superiority and air defence, close air support, in-depth strikes, reconnaissance, anti-ship strikes and nuclear deterrence.
(With agency inputs)