Paris: India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday, 8 October 2019, participated in the Rafale fighter aircraft handing over ceremony, coinciding with Vijayadashami festival which symbolises the victory of good over evil and marking the Indian Air Force Day, at Merignac in Bordeaux along with French Minister of Armed Forces Ms Florence Parly.
The Defence Minister performed the ‘Shastra Puja’ on the auspicious occasion of Vijayadashami before flying a sortie in the Rafale fighter aircraft
Singh earlier during the day held talks with President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron. He arrived here on Monday for a two-day official visit to France. During the talks, the two leaders comprehensively discussed key aspects of bilateral defence partnership and resolved to continue strengthening the ties between the two countries. “I thanked President Macron for his strong support to further intensifying our strategic partnership, especially in the defence sector, with India and for our ‘Make in India’ initiatives”, Singh said after the meeting.
The Defence Minister also thanked the French President for the strong support by France to India’s strategic interests and principles, including in fighting terrorism.
Earlier, on his arrival in Paris, the Defence Minister had tweeted that France is India’s important strategic partner and its special relationship with India goes far beyond the realm of formal ties. He also said that his visit to France is aimed at expanding the existing strategic partnership between both the countries.
Singh also expressed his deepest condolences, on behalf of the Indian Government and its people, upon the demise of former French President Jacques Chirac, saying Mr Chirac had played a decisive role in forging India-France Strategic Partnership.