In order to boost strategic cooperation, India and France on Saturday signed a pact that will enable their defence forces to access each other’s facilities and extend logistical support on a reciprocal basis. “I consider today’s agreement of the reciprocal logistics support between our armies as a golden step in the history of our close defence cooperation,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, after bilateral talks with visiting French President Emmanuel Macron.
Signed by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly, the pact will facilitate reciprocal provision of logistics support, supplies and services between the armed forces of the two countries during authorised port visits, joint exercises, joint training, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts.
The two sides also signed a new confidentiality agreement, replacing the 2008 pact that shields government from sharing classified information on defence deals, including the Rafale fighter aircraft deal. Signed between NSA Ajit Doval and French President’s diplomatic advisor Philippe Etienne, the pact is about the exchange and reciprocal protection of classified or protected information.
On the much-delayed Jaitapur nuclear power project, the two leaders reiterated the goal of commencing work at the Jaitapur site ‘around the end of 2018’, and encouraged NPCIL and EDF to accelerate the contractual discussions in that respect. They signed an agreement that prescribes a way forward for implementation of the project.
(Source: MEA Spokesperson)