PM Modi meets French President Hollande in Hangzhou

Hangzhou [China], Sept. 5: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande met on Monday on the sidelines of the G20 summit here in Hangzhou.

This is the first meeting between the two leaders after Hollande visited India this year to attend the Republic Day parade as the chief guest.

"Strengthening the Strategic Partnership with France. PM @narendramodi has a quick pull aside with President Hollande," Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.

India-French relations received a boost in 2015 with high-level engagements and expansion of the already strong cooperation.

Prime Minister Modi paid a landmark visit to France from April 09-12, 2015. The two leaders held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September 2015.

They again met in Paris on November 3, 2015 at the Leaders' Event of CoP-21 (21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) in Paris.

Hollande paid a three-day visit to India from 24-26 January this year where France committed to help develop three Indian cities- Chandigarh, Nagpur and Puducherry as smart cities.

Hollande visited the Rock Garden in Chandigarh city created by French architect Le Corbusier. During Hollande's India visit, both the countries then signed an inter-governmental pact to buy 36 French-built Rafale fighters leaving the task to the negotiation committee to resolve financial issues.

Reports suggest that Ministry of Defence has cleared the negotiation committee's report and sent it for the approval of Cabinet Committee for Security (CCS).

If the deal is approved, the Indian Air Force can then acquire the French twin-engine aircraft built by the Dassault Aviation.

Source: ANI