India and France Friday decided to increase their bilateral, regional and defence industrial cooperation as Defence Minister Rajnath Singh called on French firms to “either collaborate with Indian companies or simply produce in India”.
Rajnath made a strong pitch for greater industrial cooperation as his French counterpart, Florence Parly, said her country was “open and ready” to provide any additional Rafale fighter aircraft India needs.
Multiple issues concerning defence cooperation came up for discussion during the third Annual Defence Dialogue between India and France, held in New Delhi Friday. Parly, who is France’s minister of the armed forces, is in India on an official visit.
Government sources said the two ministers exchanged views on Pakistan and China. Parly said China was “getting more and more aggressive” in the Indo-Pacific region as well as the South China Sea.
The sources said both sides expressed concern over the situation in Afghanistan, amid reports of violence being unleashed in the wake of the Taliban takeover.