Paris, Nov 2, 2016: The French government on Wednesday began the evacuation of some 1,500 minors who were living in the remains of the Calais migrant camp known as the “Jungle”.
The camp, where up to 6,000 people had sought refuge, had already been demolished by the authorities, Efe news reported.
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According to a spokesperson of the Pas-de-Calais prefecture, it is expected that 1,500 unaccompanied minors will be relocated to some of the over 400 provisional relocation camps (CAP) on board 30 buses departing from Calais, located some 300 km to the north-east of Paris.
French authorities are to evaluate the cases of the minors, mostly Afghan, Sudanese and Eritrean, although many of the migrants seek to cross the English Channel to join their families who are already there. (IANS)
India’s defense minister is traveling to Paris to speak with the French government amid controversy over a multibillion-dollar deal to sell 36 fighter jets to India.
The 2016 deal was for India to buy Rafale fighter jets from France’s Dassault. The leader of India’s main opposition Congress party, Rahul Gandhi, has accused Narendra Modi’s government of buying the aircraft at nearly three times the price being negotiated when his party was in power before Modi became prime minister in 2014.
Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who will meet her French counterpart, Florence Parly, on Thursday, has refuted the claim.
Gandhi also accused Modi’s government of favoring the company owned by industrialist Anil Ambani, Reliance Group, when choosing an Indian partner for Dassault.
India’s government has denied any wrongdoing.
Dassault Aviation said in a statement Wednesday that it “has freely chosen to make a partnership with India’s Reliance Group.”
The French company explained that it has committed to side deals in India worth 50 percent of the value of the jet purchases. In order to deliver those side deals, it has decided to create a joint-venture with Reliance Group.
The controversy has intensified following comments last month by former French President Francois Hollande — who was in charge when the deal was signed in 2016 — suggesting France had no say in the choice of the Indian company.
Gandhi appears to be bent on making the Rafale deal an election issue ahead of the general vote in early 2019. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his right-wing Hindu nationalist party are the front-runners in the race.