New Delhi India and France will review the entire gamut of bilateral defence ties and security situation in their concerned areas during French defence minister Florence Parly’s talks with her counterpart Rajnath Singh here later in the week.

The high-profile visit comes weeks after National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval held talks with the French leadership during his visit there on strategic and other issues. Moreover, the French minister is coming to India for the first time since the formation of Australia, US and UK alliance (AUKUS) to counter China leading to resentment in France.

As regard the forthcoming talks, Parly and Rajnath will discuss all aspects of bilateral defence ties including the ongoing induction of Rafale fighter jets into the IAF, upgradation of Mirage fleet, joint ventures in defence sector here and more intense joint military exercises, sources said here on Tuesday.

They said the French minister was likely to have detailed discussions with Rajnath and Doval on Thursday. India and France could also discuss the possibility of having nuclear technology, they said.

During Doval’s visit in early November, India and France resolved to further strengthen their strategic and defence ties with focus on maritime security including the Indo-Pacific region. The two countries will also work together closely in the sphere of nuclear energy and space. These were the major takeaways from the meeting between National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval and Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs in Paris and Defence Minister Florence Parly. The meeting took place on the occasion of the 35th session of the Indo-French strategic dialogue.

Following up on the meeting between President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on the sidelines of the G20 in Rome recently, Le Drian stressed his country’s commitment to deepening the Indo-French strategic partnership and strengthening its various aspects, particularly in the areas of defence, space, civil nuclear energy and security. Doval and Le Drian also discussed the priorities in the fight against climate change with his interlocutor.

The two sides underscored the importance of the mutual trust between France and India, as well as that of the Indo-French partnership in working to strengthen multilateralism and defend a free and open Indo-Pacific based on the rule of law. They also called for continued Indo-French coordination, including at the UN Security Council, on Afghanistan. Doval and the French Defence Minister discussed ways to expand bilateral and regional co-operation, deal with new threats and support India’s defence industrialization and self-reliance.

India also welcomed European Union’s (EU) Indo-Pacific strategy and looked forward to French presidency of the EU in the first half of next year as an opportunity to give further shape to the EU’s engagement in Indo-Pacific region including security, connectivity, sustainability and economic development. The Indian NSA stressed the point that France is one of India’s premier global and Indo-Pacific partners. In his talks with the French leadership, both the sides agreed that the emerging trends in global affairs reinforce the need for closer partnership between India and France. The two sides discussed global security scenario including current developments and long term challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, situation in Afghanistan, Africa, Southeast Asia and West Asia, challenge of terrorism and emerging threats in maritime, cyber and space domains.