Rafale a tool for India's sovereignty, says France

Updated: Jun 11, 2019, 09:55 IST | Agencies

"Investigation is going on. Indian authorities would be updated when new details would be provided to us," he assured

Rafale a tool for India's sovereignty, says France

New Delhi: France does not care about controversies and just wants to deliver the Rafale jets as it is a tool for better sovereignty for India, French Minister of State for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean Baptiste Lemoyne, said on Monday.

The Minister made these remarks here today during his official visit to lay the groundwork for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to France in August to attend the 45th G7 summit.

Speaking to ANI on a variety of subjects, the minister said, "The French government doesn't care about controversies. We have cooperations, we have a roadmap, we just want to deliver and I think that it's in the national interest of the two countries."

"We want France and India to be more sovereign every single day and I think that Rafale is a tool for better sovereignty for India and that's, I think, the most interesting thing for Indian people," he added, commenting on the controversy revolving around the Rafale deal.

Lemoyne also added that investigations into the attempted break-in at the Indian Air Force Rafale project management team office in Paris is underway.

"Investigation is going on. Indian authorities would be updated when new details would be provided to us," he assured.

Unidentified persons broke into India's Rafale office in Paris last month in a possible espionage attempt to steal data related to the aircraft critical to India's national security plans.

The Rafale project team, headed by a Group Captain-rank officer, who looks after issues related to the 36 Rafale combat aircraft, including the production timelines and training of Indian personnel who have to be trained for maintenance and flying operations of the plane, which India is acquiring.

The French Minister also said India will get its first Rafale fighter jet by September this year.

"The first Rafale jets will land in India in September and it will be a very tough signal of the effectiveness of this cooperation. Thirty-six Rafale (jets) will be delivered one by one. It's very good news for the cooperation between France and India," he added.

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