Keyword: Narendra Modi
A deal for the supply by France to India of a further 36 Rafale fighter jets is to be discussed at a meeting between President Emmanuel Macron and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of this weekend's G7 summit in Biarritz, according to Indian media reports quoting unnamed sources.
French aerospace and defence group Dassault Aviation has issued a statement insisting it 'freely' chose India's Reliance Group, run by a businessman close to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as its local industrial partner as part of the sale to New Delhi of 36 Rafale fighter planes, following the revelation by Mediapart of a document in which one of its senior executives is cited as saying the choice of Reliance was 'imperative and obligatory' in securing the contract.
Speaking at a press briefing in Paris on Thurday, Indian defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman reiterated her government's claim that did not impose an Indian company run by a businessman close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as local industrial partner for Dassault Aviation in the sale to New Delhi of 36 Rafale fighter planes, despite new evidence published by Mediapart suggesting that was the case.
Indian political opposition groups this weekend called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to resign after a report in Mediapart on Friday in which former French president François Hollande's comments on an 8-billion-euro fighter deal with New Delhi suggested possible favouritism by Modi in the choice of the Indian partner in the joint venture.
Under deal signed by prime minister Narendra Modi and President Macron, each country will open its naval bases to warships from the other.
France's president said an agreement was under discussion for India's purchase of 36 Rafale jets, along with a deal for six Areva-built reactors.
The package of deals, that also include cooperation on energy and education, were inked during Indian PM's ongoing visit to France.