On Saturday the French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi. The two leaders discussed regional and global issues of mutual interests.

The prime minister said that he looks forward to receiving President Macron in India at his earliest convenience.

The prime minister also said that defence cooperation is one of the key pillars of the Strategic Partnership between India and France, and called for greater cooperation in the Make in India framework in defence manufacturing and joint research and development.

India and France will jointly conduct naval exercise Varuna next year. This was decided during a meeting between Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Florence Parly on Friday.

A range of measures to expand military to military ties, including enhancing the scope of their joint exercises, in particular, the Varuna naval exercise scheduled in early 2018, were agreed upon.

Both countries will also actively explore additional measures to facilitate operational level interactions between their respective armed forces.

The ministers reiterated their strong intention to further expand bilateral cooperation on counter-terrorism.

Recognising the growing significance of maritime security in the Indo-Pacific and the need for greater maritime domain awareness, India and France will further expand information sharing arrangements building upon the Technical Arrangement on Exchange of White Shipping information signed earlier this year.

The two leaders also comprehensively reviewed developments in defence equipment and industry cooperation, where France is a major partner.

They agreed to strongly support projects for defence manufacturing under the ‘Make in India’ initiative as well as promote defence technology and R&D cooperation.

This was Parly’s maiden visit to India as the French Minister for the Armed Forces.