New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his French counterpart Florence Parly on Friday held wide-ranging talks with a focus on further enhancing bilateral defence and security cooperation as well as pressing regional issues.
Parly arrived in Delhi on Thursday evening on a two-day visit.
Officials earlier said the recent developments in Afghanistan and the situation in the Indo-Pacific region would figure in the talks.
The areas of defence and security, civil nuclear cooperation and trade and investment constitute the principal pillars of the Indo-French strategic partnership.
In addition, India and France are increasingly engaged in new areas of cooperation such as in the Indian Ocean region, climate change and sustainable growth and development.
The two countries share a close degree of convergence on a range of regional and global issues as well including ways to deal with terrorism and extremism.
“Raksha Mantri Shri @rajnathsingh receives the visiting Defence Minister of France, Ms @florence_parly at Vigyan Bhawan. The 3rd India-France Annual Defence Dialogue will start in a short while from now,” Singh’s office tweeted before the talks began.
Ahead of the meeting with Singh, Parly said at a think-tank that she is in India to say how “precious” the friendship between France and India is.
She described India as a unique land of vibrant colours, impressive landscapes and a millennium of rich history, saying the country is unlike any other.
Parly said both India and France promote multilateralism and a rules-based international order, noting that it is good to refer to “rock-solid principles” when the world and the region experienced upheavals.
In this context, Parly talked about the convergence of views by the two sides in dealing with major issues and global challenges including the fight against climate change.