India, France agree to expand scope of joint military exercises

Shakti
File photo of Indo-French Shakti military exercise

New Delhi: In another boost to the strategic defence ties between India and France, the two countries have agreed to expand the scope and complexity of the existing regular bilateral joint military exercises namely Shakti, Varuna and Garuda.

The agreement came during the second India-France Ministerial level Annual Defence Dialogue between Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his French counterpart, the Minister for the Armed Forces Ms. Florence Parly on October 8 in Paris.

The two sides comprehensively reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral defence cooperation, which is a key pillar of India-France Strategic Partnership. They also exchanged views on contemporary regional and international developments of mutual interest. Both sides discussed ways to further deepen defence-related official as well as operational level interactions.

Recognising that India-France partnership in the Indian Ocean Region is crucial for preserving and promoting the common strategic and security interests, the two Ministers noted the continuing implementation of actions outlined in the “Joint Strategic Vision of India-France Cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region” (March 2018). The Ministers also reaffirmed the strong intention of the two sides to further deepen bilateral cooperation on counter terrorism.

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