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External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar holds talks with French counterpart Le Drian

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New Delhi, Apr 13: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday held extensive talks with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian, covering all aspects of the bilateral strategic ties as well as regional and global challenges.

jaishankar

The French minister arrived on Monday evening on a three-day visit to explore ways to further boost cooperation between the two countries, including in the Indo-Pacific region. After the talks, Jaishankar said India and France will advance their shared post-COVID-19 agenda through "close collaboration".

"A comfortable, substantive and productive discussion with FM @JY_LeDrian. India and France will advance their shared post-COVID agenda through close collaboration," he tweeted. French ambassador Emmanuel Lenain described the meeting as "excellent".

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"Excellent meeting b/w @JY_LeDrian @francediplo_EN & @DrSJaishankar @MEAIndia. The ministers discussed all aspects of the bilateral strategic partnership, regional & global challenges and cooperation at the #UNSC," Lenain said in a tweet.

On Monday, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the visit by the French foreign minister will pave the way for further strengthening of bilateral partnership across trade, defence, climate, migration and mobility, education and health sectors in the post-COVID-19 context.

The French embassy said Le Drian is undertaking the visit to strengthen strategic ties between France and India, boost cooperation in several fields, particularly the Indo-Pacific. The defence and security ties between India and France are on an upswing in the last few years.

India had signed an inter-governmental agreement with France in September 2016 for procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of around Rs 58,000 crore. Dassault Aviation, the manufacturer of Rafale jets, has delivered 14 aircraft to the Indian Air Force so far.

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