Seeking to give a greater momentum to their strategic relationship, India and France on Sunday discussed a wide spectrum of issues, including defence and terrorism, with the French side saying the bilateral ties should move forward with the speed of a Rafale fighter jet.
During the talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French Minister for Foreign Affairs Jean-Marc Ayrault here, both leaders had “considerable” discussions on international terrorism of which the two countries are victims.
“I spoke about different aspects of our partnership,” Ayrault told reporters here on the sidelines of a function after his meeting with Modi, who was here to attend the 14th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the Centre’s outreach programme for overseas Indians. The French minister, who began his three-day visit to India from here, said: “We spoke about defence because India needs to protect itself. Therefore, defence is an important area. I also shared with him concerns about terrorism and how we are together in fighting it.” Noting that India has various defence needs, for example Rafale, he said, “It needs submarines, it needs helicopters. So we did discuss all of these.”