French Defence Minister Sébastien Lecornu (L) interacts with India's Defence Minister Rajnath Singh during a meeting in New Delhi on November 28, 2022. Image Credit: AFP

New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday co-chaired the 4th India-France annual defence dialogue with French minister for the armed forces Sebastien Lecornu. During the annual defence dialogue in New Delhi, Singh and Lecornu discussed various bilateral, regional and defence industrial cooperation issues.

Calling the discussions with the French minister of armed forces “warm and fruitful,” Rajnath Singh in a tweet, “Had warm and fruitful discussions with the Defence Minister of France, Mr Sebastien Lecornu during the fourth India-France Annual Defence Dialogue in New Delhi today. A wide range of bilateral, regional & defence industrial cooperation issues was discussed during the dialogue.”

Sebastien Lecornu is in India on a three-day visit from November 26-28. Emmanuel Lenain, French ambassador to India, in a tweet, said that Rajnath Singh and Sebastien Lecornu discussed various issues, including Indo-Pacific, Make In India projects and joint drills. Lenain stressed that the two sides agreed to strengthen the defence ties between India and France and tackle common challenges.

Emmanuel Lenain tweeted, “Ministers @SebLecornu & @RajnathSingh today held the France India Annual Defence Dialogue, ranging from the #IndoPacific to #MakeInIndia projects, and joint drills. They agreed to strengthen our defence coop in all areas crucial for strategic autonomy & tackling our common challenges.”

Earlier in the day, Lecornu was accorded the Guard of Honour in New Delhi after he was received by his Indian counterpart in the national capital on Monday. Lecornu also laid a wreath at National War Memorial, as he began the Delhi leg of his visit. He also held a meeting with India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. According to the French envoy, Lecornu and Doval shared close assessments of global and regional security concerns as well as agreed to intensify counter-terrorism cooperation.