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Sitharaman Visits Rafale Manufacturing Facility In France

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Friday visited a production facility of French aerospace major Dassault Aviation near Paris where the Rafale jets to be supplied to India are being manufactured, official sources said. 

They said during her visit to the plant in Argenteuil, Sitharaman spoke to officials of the Dassault Aviation, the makers of Rafale, and took stock of progress in production of the fighter jets whose delivery to India will begin in September next year. 

Sitharaman arrived in Paris Thursday on a three-day visit in the midst of a massive controversy over the procurement of 36 Rafale jets under a Rs 58,000 crore government-to-government deal between India and France.

Last evening, Sitharaman held wide-ranging talks with her French counterpart Florence Parly on ways to deepen the strategic and defence cooperation between the two countries.

The talks were held under the framework of the annual Indo-French defence ministerial dialogue which was agreed to during the summit meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron in March. 

The two defence ministers comprehensively reviewed the entire gamut of the bilateral defence cooperation, which is a key pillar of the India-France strategic partnership, an official statement said.

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