NSA Doval holds talks with French President’s advisor; focus on PM’s Paris visit next week

New Delhi: National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Thursday held wide-ranging talks with French President’s diplomatic advisor Emmanuel Bonne with a focus on Prime Minister Narendra Modi visit to Paris next week.

Modi will attend this year’s Bastille Day Parade as the guest of honour in Paris on July 14.

Bonne also called on Modi and briefed him on the progress in various areas of bilateral cooperation.

The prime minister is set to hold extensive talks with French President Emmanuel Macron during the visit.

The defence and security cooperation between India and France have been on a major upswing since New Delhi’s procurement of 36 Rafale jets from French aerospace major Dassault Aviation.

French defence major Safran is also set to jointly develop an engine with India’s relevant state-run defence manufacturers for military aircraft.

People familiar with talks between Doval and Bonne said the main agenda of the discussions was preparations for Modi’s visit and overall strategic cooperation.

Modi’s trip to Paris will be special as it will be the first Bastille Day visit by a foreign leader in Macron’s current term, they said.

It is understood that Bonne apprised Doval about the current security scenario in Paris.

Various French cities witnessed violent protests after police shot and killed a teenager near Paris last week.

A tri-services contingent from India has already left for Paris to participate in the Bastille Day parade.

Three Rafale fighter jets of the Indian Air Force will also take part in the flypast over the Champs Elysees on the occasion along with French jets.

France has been a key partner for India in a range of sectors including defence, space and nuclear technology.