Senior Indian and French officials have discussed ways to strengthen their already close bilateral defence collaboration. At the two-day India-France Joint Staff meetings held in Paris from April 12 to 13, the two sides discussed various aspects of defence cooperation.
“The meeting was held in a cheerful, warm, and welcoming environment. The talks focused on “new efforts within the scope of current bilateral defence cooperation mechanisms and strengthening ongoing defence engagements,” according to a statement from the defence ministry.
The Joint Staff Talks between India and France are a platform for the two countries to improve their defence relations. The talks came after a five-day major naval exercise in the Arabian Sea between the two countries.
Last month, French Navy Chief Admiral Pierre Vandier paid a visit to India, where he met with his Indian counterpart Admiral R Hari Kumar to discuss ways to maintain peace and stability in the Indian Ocean in the face of growing Chinese involvement.
The French Navy Chief’s visit to India occurred more than a month after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar visited Paris. During the visit, Jaishankar stated that India regards France as a “reliable” partner in combating a wide range of security threats, from the bottom to space, and from cyber to the oceans.
The marine cooperation between India and France has grown significantly in recent years. In April of last year, the Indian and French navy conducted a major wargame in the Arabian Sea.
The French Navy participated in the exercise with its nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and its entire carrier strike group, demonstrating strengthening naval cooperation.