Rafale jet deal on right track, says French President Hollande

The French president, who is on his way to India to attend the Republic Day celebrations, also congratulated PM Narendra Modi for "his diplomacy reflecting both a sense of proportion and a strong determination."

By: PTI | New Delhi | Updated: January 24, 2016 2:15:19 pm
narendera modi, modi, PM modi, french president hollande, president hollande,Francois Hollande, French president in India, republic day chief guest, india news Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande. (File Photo)

French President Francois Hollande on Sunday affirmed that the Rs 60,000 crore Rafale fighter jets deal with India was “on the right track” and that it would pave the way for an unprecedented industrial and technological bilateral cooperation for the next 40 years.

There has been speculation whether the final deal for India to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets would be inked during Hollande’s State Visit, which commenced with his arrival in Chandigarh today.

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The deal was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to France last April.

Asked if he hoped to see the final deal inked during his current visit, Hollande told PTI in a interview that “we are on the right track” but agreeing on the technicalities of this arrangement obviously takes time.

He also noted that Indo-French cooperation in defence “is part of our strategic partnership. It is based on trust, a very strong trust between both our countries.”

Answering a question on the Pathankot terror strike and that most of the terror attacks in India emanate from Pakistan, Hollande said, “France strongly condemned the attack on Pathankot. India is fully justified to ask for justice against perpetrators.”

“India and France are confronted with similar threats: we are attacked by murderers who pretend to act on religious basis. Their real objective is widespread hate. They want to undermine our democratic values and our way of life. India and France are united in their determination to act together against terrorism.”

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