Indian Defense Min.: pace of negotiation to buy 36 Rafale jets “not enough”

NEW DELHI, March 28 (KUNA) — Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday admitted on the sidelines of the biennial international defence expo (Defexpo India 2016) in the western state of Goa that the pace of negotiation with France to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets was “not enough”. Speaking to the media persons on the sidelines of the Defexpo India 2016, being held in the city of Naqueri Quitol located in the state of Goa, Parrikar said that his government was unable to give the final touch to the deal because of the financial differences adding “We are definitely very serious about the Rafale deal. And it is definitely moving though I agree that the speed is not enough,” the Press Trust of India said.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced in January following discussions with French President Franchois Hollande in New Delhi that he is optimistic that the final deal would be signed within few days after ironing out differences over the price and that a government level agreement has been signed.
During his Paris visit in April 2015, Modi had said that the deal to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets was clinched and negotiation over the “final touch” was remaining.
Indian Defense Minister Parrikar made his comments over the deal while speaking to the journalists after opening Indian Defense Ministry’s biennial international defense expo (Defexpo India 2016) being held in the city of Naqueri Quitol located in the Western state of Goa with the participation of over 1000 companies from 47 countries.
The Indian Defense Ministry in a statement issued earlier said that during the four-day exhibition aimed at turning India into an attractive investment destination in the defense sector in line with the central government’s Make in India project, the participating countries would showcase their defense equipment.
The US, the UK, Russia, France, Germany, Italy, Israel, Japan, Brazil, Canada, Turkey, Egypt, the UAE, Singapore, Malaysia, Finland, Sweden are among the major participating countries in the defense expo.
Indian defense ministry underlined the importance of the event saying that it presents an opportunity to the public and private sector defense companies in the country to “demonstrate their capability to design, develop and deliver a wide range of military and civil products and services.” India will showcase multi-level strategic deterrence, ballistic missile defense, nuclear powered submarines, main battle tank, stealth destroyers, aircraft carriers and 4th generation fighter aircraft during the event, the ministry said.
It is expected that a number of participating companies would launch their new products during the show and a number of high-profile defense deals between the participating companies and the governments of participating countries are also expected to be signed on the sidelines of the Expo. (end) atk.nfm