India and France held wide-ranging talks aimed at further boosting defence and security ties, France India defence deal focuses on co-development of military platforms, and enhancing cooperation in the maritime sphere.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her French counterpart Florence Parley deliberated on a host of key issues, including the regional security situation, transfer of critical technology for various defence projects and ways to ramp up overall strategic ties, an official said.
Ms. Parley is also likely to push for a follow on order of additional Rafale fighter jets, after the delivery of 36 jets under a Rs 58,000 crore deal finalized last year.
The initiative comes around the time when Europe in seething in different forms of crisis and France itself has had terrorists disturb its geopolitical and civil environment. The country’s different spheres of affluence and being have dramatically deteriorated over the past few years. Europe’s migration crisis, the Arab Spring and conflict in Syria and Libya, the creation of Daesh and the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union have all challenged European and French security.
In this case the nation is bound to look at different strategic ties especially from ‘its foremost Asian strategic partner’ – the latter part of which might be inspired by the multi-billion dollar jet deal.
Nonetheless, the strategic partnership will strengthen the Modi government’s posture and policy in international arenas and also create another hook around the much debated Kashmir issue that Pakistan likes to bring up so often. As far as defence initiatives are concerned, a direct sponsor of India’s military power might not condone any border skirmish or terror flare through India’s neighbors by indirect or direct means.
That supposedly, will be the mark-up of Indian diplomats and political junta when the French President Emmanuel Macron visits India. Consequently a statement issued by the French embassy highlighted to major points of Ms. Parley’s talks with Ms. Sitharaman. These range from defence cooperation, in particular maritime security, joint exercises of the armed forces and counter-terrorism to industrial and technological partnership under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
For the Indian government, this presents a rather fortuitous state of affairs. The defence sector would be ramped up while the ‘Make in India’ initiative as well as the perception of the Modi government improves. That said, the interest of different countries in India’s well-being is ensured till India’s shores help them leverage their own concerns.