India, France hold 3rd annual defence dialogue

New Delhi: India and France on Friday held the third Annual Defence Dialogue, where Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and French Minister for Armed Forces Florence Parly discussed a wide range of bilateral, regional, defence and defence industrial cooperation issues.

The Ministers reviewed the existing militaryto-military cooperation, which has increased in spite of pandemic challenges and discussed ways to increase defence cooperation in all domains, Defence Ministry said.

“India-France Strategic Partnership is more relevant today than ever. I had an excellent meeting with my French counterpart, Ms Florence Parly. A wide range of bilateral, regional and defence industrial cooperation issues were discussed in the Annual Defence Dialogue today,” Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in a tweet.

India and France have recently concluded their annual bilateral Army Exercise, Shakti, with focus on counter-terrorist operations, in France in November 2021.

Defence industrial cooperation was discussed with focus on future collaborations and co-production between the two countries.

The Ministers acknowledged their convergences on a number of strategic and defence issues.

They expressed commitment to work together to enhance cooperation in bilateral, regional and multilateral forums.

France is the current chair of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium and shall take over the Presidency of European Union from January 01, 2022. The two Ministers decided to work closely on a number of issues during the French Presidency.

Earlier, Florence Parly called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and paid tribute to Indian soldiers at the National War Memorial. She is expected to meet with other Indian dignitaries during her visit. (UNI)

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