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India, France Defence Ministers hold fifth dialogue

Shri Rajnath Singh, the Indian Defence Minister, concluded his two-nation European tour with a significant meeting in Paris with the French Minister of Armed Forces, Mr. Sebastien Lecornu. The 5th Annual Defence Dialogue between the two ministers was marked by discussions spanning various aspects of defense cooperation.

Key Discussion Points

Regional Situation Assessment

    • The ministers assessed the current regional security situation, highlighting the importance of strategic cooperation between India and France in the face of evolving global challenges.

Military-to-Military Engagements

    • Ongoing military-to-military engagements were reviewed, emphasizing the need for strengthening these partnerships.

Enhancing Defence Industrial Cooperation

    • Both ministers discussed strategies to enhance defense industrial cooperation between India and France, recognizing its mutual benefits.

Defence Projects Review

    • The ongoing defense projects were reviewed, with an aim to ensure their successful execution and alignment with strategic goals.

Niche Collaborations

    • Discussions extended to potential collaboration in niche domains such as space, cyber, and Artificial Intelligence, reflecting the need to stay at the forefront of technology.

Guard of Honour

    • The meeting was preceded by a ceremonial Guard of Honour at the French Ministry of Defence, symbolizing the strong ties between the two nations.

Engagements in Paris

Safran Engine Division R&D Visit

    • Shri Rajnath Singh visited the Safran Engine Division’s R&D Centre in Gennevilliers, where he witnessed the latest advancements in aero-engine technology, reinforcing the defense ties between India and France.

Meetings with French Defence CEOs

    • The Indian Defence Minister met with the CEOs of leading French defense companies, focusing on collaborative plans with India.
    • They explored the advantages of co-development and co-production in India, including export potential to third countries.

Advantages of Indian Market

    • Shri Rajnath Singh emphasized the inherent benefits of the Indian market, such as a large, skilled human resource base, world-class infrastructure, and a robust legal framework, to attract French investments in defense.

Interaction with Indian Community

    • Upon his arrival in Paris on October 10, 2023, Shri Rajnath Singh engaged with the Indian community, fostering cultural and diaspora ties.

Italian Leg of the Tour

Talks with Italian Defence Minister

    • In the first part of his European tour, Shri Rajnath Singh held discussions with Italian Defence Minister Mr. Guido Crosetto in Rome, culminating in an Agreement on Cooperation in the field of defense.
    • This agreement promotes bilateral collaboration across multiple defense domains.

Bilateral Collaboration Areas

    • The agreement encompassed areas like security and defense policy, research and development, military education, maritime domain awareness, information sharing in defense, and industrial cooperation, including co-development, co-production, and joint ventures.

Meetings with Italian Defense Industry Leaders

    • In Rome, the Indian Defence Minister also met with CEOs and leaders of Italian defense companies to explore opportunities for collaborative ventures and deepen ties between the defense industries of both nations.

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