New Delhi: India Readying To Sign Major Defence Agreement With France After signing the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement or BECA with the United States of America late last year, India is readying to sign a major agreement with France, leading for closer defence cooperation, particularly between the two navies.
The Indian government has already cleared the decision that will lead to closer information exchange between India and France. The information exchange will be at the tactical level and theoretically, sources said, any information that has operational significance can be passed on in real-time by France to India and vice versa. The exchange can be at ‘ship level’ and during difficult times like conflict, the exchange can prove to be crucial.
The new agreement comes just before the visit by Emmanuel Bonne, the diplomatic advisor to the president of France for discussions. It is also another sign of international support for India as the face-off with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in East Ladakh continues.
The French Navy is present in strength in the Indian Ocean area. The agreement with India will benefit both navies. France–India relations have traditionally been close and friendly and both countries have a ‘special relationship’ with each other, so much so that by August 2019, France has been called “India’s new best friend” by a researcher of the Hudson Institute. Both nations have a centuries-old history of trade relations.