Of India & France....

Even as they signed 14 agreements and MoUs in areas as diverse as space, railway upgradation and science and technology , India and France could only partly conclude an Inter Governmental Agreement for acquisition of 36 Rafale fighter jets. Differences over pricing meant that both nations could only sign an MoU for the purchase of jets after a meeting between PM Narendra Modi and President Francois Hollande.
The government said the technical aspects of the IGA had been sorted out and only the pricing had to be resolved. Foreign secretary S Jaishankar said the MoU reflected an “element of desire“ on the part of both parties to conclude the deal soon and considerable progress had been made in negotiations.
Unlike an IGA, though, the MoU doesn't have much legal sanctity and, as sources said, the agreement couldn't be seen as done until the two countries agreed on the amount of money India needed to shell out for the 36 aircraft.
Addressing the media after the delegation level talks with Hollande, Modi described France as one of India's oldest and most reliable strategic partners.
On another crucial issue between the two countries nuclear energy -both leaders called for speeding up the techno-commercial negotiations which has delayed implementation of the civil nuclear cooperation agreement between the two countries. According to the joint statement, the two leaders “encouraged“ their industrial companies to conclude techno-commercial negotiations by the end of 2016 for construction of six nuclear power reactor units at Jaitapur, with due consideration to cost viability of the project, economical financing from the French side, collaboration on transfer of technology and cost-effective localization of manufacturing in India for large and critical components in accord with the government's `Make in India' initiative.
France acknowledged the need for India to have lifetime guarantee of fuel supply and renewed its commitment to reliable, uninterrupted and continued access to nuclear fuel supply throughout the entire lifetime of the plants.France reaffirmed its support for India's candidature for a permanent membership of the UN Security Council.

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