Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said defence cooperation is one of the key pillars of the strategic partnership between India and France, following his meeting with the French minister of armed forces, Florence Parley. Parley briefed the Prime Minister about developments in bilateral defence cooperation. Modi also called for greater cooperation within the ‘Make in India’ framework for defence manufacturing and joint research and development, reported news agency ANI.
The Prime Minister said that he looks forward to receiving President Macron in India at his earliest convenience.
Parley, who is in India on a two-day visit, had earlier met Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and held wide-ranging talks aimed at boosting defence and security ties, with a focus on co-development of military platforms, and enhancing cooperation in the maritime sphere. The two also spoke about joint exercises of the armed forces, counter-terrorism and industrial and technological partnership under the Indian government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.
In a statement, the French Embassy on Friday said Parley’s visit was to strengthen all aspects of France’s “fast developing” defence cooperation with India, its foremost Asian strategic partner. Her visit is expected to lay the foundation for French President Emmanuel Macron’s trip to India in December this year.