India, France talk tough on terror, stuck on price of Rafale jets

India and France also agreed to renew their bilateral agreement on defence cooperation, which was signed in 2006, by another 10 years.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Updated: January 26, 2016 3:37 pm
India, France, Narendra Modi, Francois Hollande, Rafale deal, Hollande in Metro, Hollande delhi metro, Hollande news, Modi news, Modi Hollande meet, Narendra Modi news, Modi news, India news Prime Minister Modi and French President Hollande take the Metro to Gurgaon, Monday. (PTI Photo)

Nine months after expressing its willingness to buy 36 Rafale jets in “fly-away” condition, India has reached an agreement with France on their specifications and weapons systems — but not on the price.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) pertaining to technical aspects of the Rafale deal on Monday. Later, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting French President Francois Hollande expressed confidence that the financial aspects would be resolved soon.

Watch Video: French President Francois Hollande’s India Visit: Key Takeaways

“Leaving out the financial aspect, India and France have signed the IGA on the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets. We expect that even the financial aspects pertaining to purchase of Rafale jets will be resolved as soon as possible,” said Modi.

Describing the MoU as a “decisive” step and stressing that the Rafale jets have been “proving their efficacy in targeting the ISIS”, Hollande said, “Some financial issues remain that will be sorted out in the next coming days.”
Dassault Aviation, manufacturer of Rafale, said in a statement, “We are very pleased with this progress, and are actively supporting French authorities in their efforts to finalise a complete agreement within the next four weeks.”

India and France also agreed to renew their bilateral agreement on defence cooperation, which was signed in 2006, by another 10 years.

Besides, New Delhi and Paris came out with a strongly-worded joint statement on counter-terrorism and asked for decisive action to be taken against “Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Haqqani Network and other terrorist groups such as al Qaeda”. This is the first time that the two countries have named these terror groups in a joint statement.

“Condemning the recent terror attacks in Pathankot and Gurdaspur in India, the two countries reiterated their call for Pakistan to bring to justice their perpetrators and the perpetrators of the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, which also caused the demise of two French citizens, and to ensure that such attacks do not recur in the future,” the statement read.

Hollande commended India for playing a stabilising role in South Asia, particularly in Afghanistan, and its “recent initiative to launch a comprehensive dialogue with Pakistan”, the joint statement on counter-terrorism said.

“From Paris to Pathankot, we saw the gruesome face of the common challenge of terrorism… I also commend the strength of your resolve and action to these terrorist attacks. President Hollande and I have agreed to scale up the range of our counter-terrorism cooperation in a manner that helps us tangibly mitigate and reduce the threat of extremism and terrorism to our societies,” said Modi.

“Daesh has attacked us. The ISIS is provoking us but we are determined to take the right decision. We will strike them time and again, those who kill our children. I would like to thank you for the support in dire circumstances. France will never forget. We have decided to strengthen our cooperation against terror,” said Hollande.

In this context, the joint statement said the two countries also resolved to “step up” their bilateral cooperation through annual strategic dialogues and meetings of the joint working group to counter terrorism.

To this end, “they committed to further develop exchanges in the fields of intelligence, finance, justice and police”. They also decided to hold operational exercises between the French GIGN and the National Security Guard.

On civilian nuclear cooperation, Modi and Hollande agreed on a roadmap to “speed up” discussions on the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project in 2016. “Their shared aim is to start the implementation of the project in early 2017,” the joint statement said.

Expressing hope that the issues pertaining to nuclear reactor plants would be settled within a year, Hollande said, “There is no better trust than sharing civil nuclear technology.”

On Monday, the two sides signed the revised MoU between EDF and NPCIL for the construction of six EPR units at Jaitapur. This revision is necessary since EDF, the French state-owned power utility, has bought stakes in Areva.

On the export control regimes, France and India committed to continue to work jointly towards India’s accession to the multilateral export control regimes, namely, the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Australia Group, and the Wassenaar Arrangement.

“India and France underscored their determination to achieve the accession of India to the NSG in 2016,” the joint statement said.

Apart from the MoU on Rafale jets, the two countries signed 13 agreements, spreading across space, railways, culture and science and technology.

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  1. R
    RA.fool
    Jan 26, 2016 at 12:21 am
    Stuck? All drama. Any better believable stories? Such mounted stories are too boring s!
    Reply
    1. A
      All.Brahmin.Varmints.Parishad
      Jan 26, 2016 at 12:36 am
      The caption for the photo above: Holande was asking himself "Why is that fellow Modi nagging me all day. Can I have a break here please"
      Reply
      1. M
        Minu
        Jan 26, 2016 at 8:30 am
        50$ free Pokerstars real money NO deposit required at this link: goo.gl/l6MvGG
        Reply
        1. A
          Ashwani Aggarwal
          Jan 26, 2016 at 12:06 pm
          Rafales entry in to IAF should not be dela any more. The First Request For Information for MMCRA fighter jets was made in 2001 ( 15 years back ).
          Reply
          1. K
            Karunakaran
            Jan 26, 2016 at 10:19 am
            I can read the le of this article (most likley a press release from the PMO) about talking tough. But who among the Indians is going to do that? Our Gujjubhai is not the talking type, let alone talking tough. He does not open his mouth in the parliament. Look at the body language while sitting next to Hollande. Not a word exchanged by them! We see the Gujjubhai opening his mouth in drama queen dialogues in the stadiums for the benefit of the invited crowd (mostly felloew Gujjus).
            Reply
            1. K
              Karunakaran
              Jan 26, 2016 at 1:22 am
              The "talk tough" Gujjubhai is silent! He can't talk. How can a person who can't talk at all get to talk tough?
              Reply
              1. K
                Karunakaran
                Jan 26, 2016 at 12:11 am
                The add-ons to the Rafale will cost another Rs 25,000 crores. But it might still be less than the Rs 100,000 crores Bullet train to Gujjuland, to be paid for by all the Indian taxpayers. It does not matter whether you live in Kerala, Mizoram or Himachal Pradesh, you have to pay for the Bullet train to Gujjuland. All thanks to the selfie-chaser Gujjubhai who cannot speak in the parliament.
                Reply
                1. V
                  Vipul
                  Jan 26, 2016 at 8:37 pm
                  Hon. PM. Modi has achieved foreign policy and international trade results in a very short time. This is the first time a foreign nation has named stan as a state perpetrator of terror. This is a stupendous statement. French nuclear technology is best in the world. Even Britain imports French nuclear technology. I salute our PM for a spectacular achievements in every field.
                  Reply
                  1. B
                    babu
                    Jan 26, 2016 at 3:00 am
                    Gu jjus are smarte look at modee he is visiting all developed country asap he knows after 2019 these countries will TARI PAR HIM (TRAVEL BAN) again
                    Reply
                    1. K
                      kamath Ramesh
                      Jan 26, 2016 at 9:12 am
                      Modi is proved to be a hard bargainer. Normally the price must increase over the period of time but in this case he has tried to reduce it. But India must build its own capability to make better fighters than this
                      Reply
                      1. N
                        Nationalist
                        Jan 26, 2016 at 11:33 am
                        which bhai you are...the body language expert...by the way Hollande read the right body language that's why he is here....he does not need your commentary....
                        Reply
                        1. D
                          David
                          Jan 26, 2016 at 3:34 am
                          Honestly you are boring. ...
                          Reply
                          1. D
                            David
                            Jan 26, 2016 at 3:35 am
                            Honestly you are boring. ...
                            Reply
                            1. D
                              David
                              Jan 26, 2016 at 3:42 am
                              India should drive a hard bargain. They are way too expensive. Without tech transfer this purchase makes no sense. France economy is not doing good, with high unemployment, they need business. For the time being India should sharpen and miniaturize its nuke to brief case size and missiles to pick up truck size or highly mobile.
                              Reply
                              1. S
                                Sanjeev Singal
                                Jan 26, 2016 at 5:50 am
                                Thanks to PM Modi for underwriting that we shall not get to hear 5 or 10 years hence that bribes and commissions were paid in this deal too.
                                Reply
                                1. C
                                  Curious onlooker
                                  Jan 26, 2016 at 2:31 am
                                  India has deliberately thrown a spanner into the purchase agreement of the French fighter jets with price negotiations to take place in due course, which could be relied on to drag for another couple of decades, by which time the country hopes to steal Rafale technology and implant it into worthless Tejas. The French would have taken note of India's strategy.
                                  Reply
                                  1. O
                                    Orange
                                    Jan 26, 2016 at 12:35 am
                                    This Karunakaran is such a hate monger. You can voice a difference of opinion but his opinions are mostly hateful comments to a person. At any rate Karunakaran probably had his choice government for the greater part of 65 years, looks like the government in those years was par excellence , made India a first world country , eradicated poverty and was the epitome of honesty eh?
                                    Reply
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