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Indian, French Navies Begin Final Phase Of Varuna Exercise

New Delhi, May 2 (PTI) The Indian and French navies have begun the final phase of the Varuna naval exercise near Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean region with an aim to enhancing their operational coordination.

Both navies will simulate different possible scenarios such as asymmetric warfare, and test their air defence capabilities during the seven-day-long exercise which began yesterday.

"This exercise illustrates the strong interest France and India share concerning maritime security issues in this region," Ambassdaor of France to India Alexandre Ziegler was quoted as saying in a release issued by the French Embassy.

The third session of the Varuna exercise is being held after two successive phases.

"The Indian and French navies are conducting the last phase of the 2018 Varuna naval exercise, from 1st to 7th of May, in the vicinity of Reunion Island," the French embassy said.

Reunion Island is a French island in the Indian Ocean. Around 8,50,000 French citizens reside there.

The first phase had focused on joint anti-submarine combat training off the Indian coast in Goa, with the participation of a French nuclear submarine and Indias Kalvari Scorpene-class submarine.

The focus of the second phase was amphibious operations. The Varuna is an annual naval exercise between the two navies.

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