French Defence Minister to visit India on September 10
This is her first visit to any foreign country amid COVID-19 pandemic and the first visit by any foreign dignitary to India amid China’s aggressive behaviour at the Line of Actual Control (LAC)
India is all set to welcome French Defence Minister Florence Parly who will land in India on September 10 to attend the induction ceremony of five newly acquired Rafale Jets into the Indian Air Force at the Ambala Airbase.
News portal DNA has reported that Parly is likely to hold bilateral meetings with her Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh besides meeting National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval.
According to the report, this is her first visit to any foreign country amid COVID-19 pandemic. This is also the first visit by any foreign dignitary to India amid China’s aggressiveness at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The French Defence Minister had also written a letter to Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh after the clash between Indian and Chinese soldiers in Galwan valley on June 15. She extended “her country’s deep solidarity” calling India “France’s strategic partner in the region,” the report mentioned.
Parly also condoled the death of 20 Indian soldiers at the LAC in the letter written to the Indian Defence Minister.
“This was a hard blow against the soldiers, their families, and the nation. In these difficult circumstances, I wish to express my steadfast and friendly support, along with that of the French armed forces. I request you to kindly convey my heartfelt condolences to the entire Indian armed forces as well as to the grieving families,” Parly wrote in her letter.
The report further said that the French defence minister will be accompanied by a huge defence officials and defence industry delegation on a special plane and will have a full day of engagements.
India and France enjoy a great deal of strategic and cooperative partnerships. As per the report, both countries have undertaken a number of high-level engagements in the past with the latest one being Prime Minister Modi’s visit to France in 2019 to take part in the G7 summit. PM Modi went there on a ‘special invitation’ from French President Emmanuel Macron.
India acquired the first lot of five Rafale Jets in July as part of a Rs.58,000 crore deal with Dassault Aviation to buy a total of 36 Rafale Jets.