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Defence Minister will visit France to strengthen strategic corporation.

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Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will meet her French Counterpart to intensify strategic corporation between two countries.

The Defence Minister will leave the country on Wednesday night for the three-day visit in France to strengthen the strategic relationship between two countries. She will also talk about the major regional and global issues of mutual interests.

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The step has been taken after a huge controversy which has fragmented over the procurement of 36 Rafale jets from French aerospace major Dassault Aviation.

Ms Sitharaman will have the first edition of defence dialogue with Ms Parly and later will leave for Paris and will end up the three-day visit on Saturday.

The sources even informed that she would even inspect and check the progress in the supply of 36 Rafale jets by Dassault to the Indian Air Force under an Rs. 58,000-crore deal.

Prime Minister Modi had inked an agreement with the France government to procure 36 Rafale jets on September 2016 to upgrade the Indian Defence.

The Dassault Rafale is a twin-engine and multirole fighter aircraft designed and constructed by Dassault Aviation. It is well equipped with a wide range of weapons which enables it to perform air supremacy, interdiction, ground support, anti-ship strick, aerial reconnaissance, in-depth strike and nuclear deterrence missions.

Ms Sitharaman will have conversations with Ms Parly to discover the ways to expand Indo-French maritime security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. The two officials will even talk about the joint production of military platforms and weapons by the two countries.

French President Emmanuel Macron had visited India in March and had met with the Prime Minister. The two countries decided to expand strategic ties and deepen counter-terror cooperation and even signed a strategic pact providing for the use of each other’s military facilities. The meeting also concluded to hold an annual defence dialogue at the ministerial level to explore ways to further intensify defence and strategic ties between the two countries.
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