(From PTI)
India and France inked an inter-governmental agreement (IGA) on Monday on the sale of 36 French fighter jets, Rafale, but they were unable to sign the final deal due to some “financial” aspects, which are expected to be sorted out in a “couple of days”.

Apart from inking IGA for purchase of Rafale jets, the two countries signed 13 agreements cutting across a wide variety of sectors including railways, culture, space, science and technology and on counter-terrorism and security.

 The two countries have been in negotiations for 36 Rafale fighter jets in fly away conditions since the announcement for the deal was made by Modi in April during his visit to France.

However, the final deal is yet to be sealed as both sides are still negotiating the price which is estimated to be about Rs 60,0000 million ($8,855 million). A high-level team from France is in Delhi and carrying out last minute negotiations.

Apart from defense cooperation, the talks between the two leaders focused on ways to boost counter-terrorism cooperation in the aftermath of attack in Paris in November last and Pathankot terror strikes earlier this month.

 “Daesh has attacked us. The IS is provoking us but we are determined to take the right decision. We will strike them time and again those who kill our children. I would like to thank you for the support in dire circumstances. France will never forget. We have decided to strengthen our cooperation against terror,” Hollande said.

The two sides resolved to step up their joint effort to counter violent extremism and radicalization, disrupt recruitment, terrorist movements and flow of foreign terrorist fighters, stop sources of terrorist financing, dismantle terrorist infrastructure and prevent supply of arms to terrorists.

Stressing that terrorism cannot be justified under any circumstance, regardless of its motivation, wherever and by whomsoever it is committed, Modi and Hollande pitched for decisive actions to be taken against Lashkar-e-Tayibba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Haqqani Network and other terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda.

In pursuance of the 2008 civil nuclear pact, the two leaders encouraged their industrial companies to conclude techno-commercial negotiations by the end of 2016 for the construction of six nuclear power reactor units at Jaitapur.

The negotiations will consider 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 Government of India’s “Make in India” initiative.

 France and India underscored the contribution of nuclear energy to their energy security and to the fight against climate change.

Describing his visit as “outstanding and exceptional”, Hollande said it was an honour for France and him to be chief guest at the Republic Day.


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