New Delhi: Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh conducted the 5th Annual Defence Dialogue with French Minister of Armed Forces Sebastien Lecornu in Paris late on October 11, 2023, before concluding his two-nation Europe tour. The two Ministers discussed a wide range of topics from the assessment of regional situation to the ongoing military-to-military engagements, with a focus on enhancing defence industrial cooperation.
The Ministers reviewed the ongoing defence projects and discussed ways to deepen the collaboration between the defence industries of both the countries. They also discussed potential collaboration in niche domains such as space, cyber and Artificial Intelligence. The meeting was preceded by a Guard of Honour at the French Ministry of Defence.
Earlier in the day, Shri Rajnath Singh visited the Safran Engine Division’s R&D Centre at Gennevilliers near Paris and witnessed the latest developments in aero-engine technology. He also met with the CEOs of the top French defence companies with a focus on their plans for collaboration with India. Shri Rajnath Singh highlighted the advantages of co-development and co-production in India, including possibilities of exports to third countries. He underlined the inherent advantages of the Indian market such as a large, skilled HR base, world-class infrastructure and a strong legal architecture. Following his arrival in Paris on October 10, 2023, the Raksha Mantri interacted with the Indian community there.
In the first leg of his two-nation tour, Shri Rajnath Singh held talks with Italian Defence Minister Mr Guido Crosetto in Rome. An Agreement on Cooperation in the field of defence was signed after the talks to promote bilateral collaboration in varied defence domains, such as security and defence policy, R&D, education in military field, maritime domain awareness, sharing of defence information and industrial cooperation, including co-development, co-production & setting up of joint ventures. He also met with the CEOs and other top industry leaders of Italian defence companies in Rome, as part of his visit.