PM begins France tour, eyes on Rafale fighter jet deal and nuclear energy



By NewsGram Staff Writer

On a three-nation tour, Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed in Paris on Thursday night. He will hold talks with French President Francois Hollande, and meet the business leaders and influencers.

During PM’s four-day stay in France, the focus of the talks will be on defense, trade and civil nuclear energy.
Ahead of the dialogues between PM Modi and French President Hollande, the government said that it expects “movement” on a proposal for setting up French nuclear reactors in Jaitapur in Maharashtra as well as Rafale fighter jet deal, which are pending for long.

The agenda of the substantive discussions between Modi and Hollande will focus high on trade, nuclear energy and fighter jet deal. It is also anticipated that the PM will try to seek France’s participation in India’s ‘Make in India’ program. In addition, a deliberation on terrorism, against the backdrop of an attack in Paris, will also be there between Modi and Hollande.

Jaitapur is where a French company, Areva, is to set up six nuclear reactors with total power generation capacity of about 10,000 MW. The project is stuck from long time over the differences on the cost of electricity to be generated.

Similarly, the clash over price has almost created a dead end for a deal to supply 126 Rafale fighter planes.

When asked whether the two leaders will discuss about the much awaited Jaitapur nuclear project and multi-billion dollar Rafale jet deal, External Affairs Ministry spokesman, Syed Akbaruddin, said that, “India and France are strategic partners. In this context, the issues of civil nuclear and defense cooperation will be discussed. The issues you referred to will also be discussed. We expect movement on these issues. There will be substantive discussions on defence and nuclear issues. Wait for the outcome.”

However, the highlight of the tour will be ‘Naav Pe Charcha,’ PM’s chat with Hollande during a boat ride when they will go for a cruise on River Seine.