French president pushes S$14.8b jet deal in India
NEW DELHI (AFP) - French President Francois Hollande made a fresh push Thursday to clinch the world's biggest defence deal, the US$12 billion (S$14.8 billion) sale of 126 warplanes to India, during his first visit to Asia since taking office.
The Socialist president was accompanied by a high-powered delegation of five ministers including Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.
The two-day visit by politicians and business leaders began in New Delhi and will see the delegation head south to India's financial capital Mumbai on Friday.
Speaking in English after being accorded a red carpet reception and gun salute at the residence of his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee, Mr Hollande said it was "a great honour for me and for France to visit India".