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Rajnath arrives in France, says visit aimed at expanding existing partnership between both countries

ANI  |  General News 

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday arrived in Paris and said that his visit to France is aimed at expanding the existing strategic partnership between both the countries.

"Bonjour Paris! Delighted to be in France. This great nation is India's important strategic partner and our special relationship goes far beyond the realm of formal ties. My visit to France is aimed at expanding the existing strategic partnership between both the countries," Singh tweeted.

During his visit, he will receive the first of 36 Rafale fighter jets manufactured for India. On October 8, the Defence Minister is scheduled to meet the French President Emmanuel Macron.

After the meeting, Singh will proceed to Bordeaux to participate in the Rafale fighter jet handing-over ceremony at Merignac along with the French Minister of Armed Forces Florence Parly.

Singh will also perform the 'Shastrapuja' on the auspicious occasion of Vijayadashami and fly a sortie in the Rafale fighter jet.

"As per plans, a French pilot will fly in the front cockpit while Singh will sit in the rear cockpit. The first Indian Rafale fighter jet with tail no RB-01 will be used for the sortie," sources in IAF said.

The tail number has the initials of newly-appointed IAF chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria in recognition of his role in the around Rs 60,000 crore deal signed in 2016 for 36 planes.

The Defence Minister will also hold the annual defence dialogue with the French Minister of Armed Forces during his visit.

On October 9, Singh will address the CEOs of the French defence industry during which he is likely to urge them to participate in 'Make in India' and the Defence Expo to be held in Lucknow in February next year.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, October 07 2019. 22:52 IST