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France confident about delayed Rafale sale to India

Published on Jul 26, 2013 9:17 PM
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French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (left) and Indian Ambassador to France Rakesh Sood attend a meeting in New Delhi on Friday, July 26, 2013. Mr Le Drian said on Friday that talks over a US$12 billion (S$15 billion) deal to sell Rafale jets to India were progressing well and that a new bilateral pact would underwrite the deal. -- PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI (AFP) - French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Friday that talks over a US$12 billion (S$15 billion) deal to sell Rafale jets to India were progressing well and that a new bilateral pact would underwrite the deal.

India initially set a target of the end of last year to conclude the purchase of the 126 aircraft, one of the biggest ever defence deals, but deadlines have repeatedly slipped.

With India set to go to the polls for national elections in the first half of next year, experts believe that the chances of a speedy conclusion are dwindling.

"I will not be announcing the date for signing the contract but I would like you to know that the negotiations are going well and I have full confidence," Mr Le Drian told reporters during a trip to New Delhi.

 
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