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France pitches for another batch of 36 Rafale jets procurement by India

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

today pitched for starting negotiations over procurement of another batch of 36 jets by with French describing the fighter jet programme as a key aspect of the bilateral defence cooperation.

Sources said there was a communication from the recently indicating its eagerness in making an announcement by the two sides favouring additional procurement of jets for the

They said the issue of deal figured in the talks between and

"had made a sovereign decision in this respect (Rafale fighter jet) and we are monitoring the progress in the field. We very much want to continue the programme.

"It is a long-term contract which is mutually beneficial. I personally consider it as the heart of the strategic partnership," said in a statement to media after talks with Modi.

had signed a government-to-government deal with in 2016 to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of about the Rs 58,000 crore. The has been demanding details of the deal, alleging that the deal negotiated under its rule was much cheaper than the contract signed by the

Officials said the French side pitched for procurement of another batch of 36 Rafale jets by India during the talks between French and her Indian counterpart

In the meeting, Parly said extending the current deal will further bolster defence cooperation between the two countries, they said. The Indian side conveyed that no decision has been taken yet on the issue.

The has also been favouring procurement of more Rafale jets from It had communicated to India earlier too, seeking additional orders of Rafale jets.

In the talks, Modi and Macron noted with satisfaction the "on-schedule" progress in the implementation of acquisition- related agreements, including the Rafale deal, a joint statement issued after Modi-Macron talks said.

"They looked forward to continue their discussions to expand and deepen the ongoing defence manufacturing partnerships," it said.

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

First Published: Sat, March 10 2018. 22:30 IST