New Delhi: Expressing “his unfailing and friendly support” to his armed forces, the French Minister of Defense, Florence Parly, wrote to Rajnath Singh, in India, to express his condolence at the death of 20 soldiers in the Galwan valley during clashes with China.
Parly’s support comes at a time when France has already hijacked revolutionary missiles destined for its air forces to India amid growing tensions along the real line of control (LAC) with China.
In a letter released Monday, Parly said, “This (Galwan’s death) was a serious blow to the soldiers, their families and the nation. In these difficult circumstances, I wish to express my unwavering and friendly support, as well as that of the French armed forces. Please send my sincere condolences to the entire Indian armed forces and to the bereaved families. ”
She also said she was ready to meet with Minister of Defense Singh, at her invitation, to “follow their ongoing discussions.”
The strong words of French support were greeted by officials of the Indian defense establishment, claiming that the two sides are strategic partners.
As reported by ThePrint, at least four Rafale fighters will land in India on July 27 and can be deployed operationally sooner because the French hijacked missiles destined for themselves towards India.
The original plan was for the missiles to start arriving in October.
Also read: Coronavirus Hits Rafale Deliveries to India, Four First Fighters Expected July, Not May
An old friend from India
France has never hesitated to promote India’s interests on the global platform, from New Delhi’s position on Kashmir to the United Nations Security Council and to use the defense ecosystem to fight for the country in critical multilateral forums.
Although defense cooperation between the two nations is well known, a lesser known fact is that it was because the French took the initiative that India was able to join three of the four critical non-proliferation regimes. nuclear – the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Wassenaar arrangement and the Australian group.
It was in 1953 that the defense ties between India and France took off with the acquisition of the fighter plane “Toofani” from the French company Dassault Aviation, manufacturer of the Rafale.
France was also the only western country to support India after the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government carried out nuclear tests in 1998.
Also read: Kashmir, UN, defense, nuclear pacts – France has always supported India, whatever happens
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