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Indian Defence Chief’s Visit to France

General Anil Chauhan, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), India, was on an official comprehensive visit to France until April 2024. General Anil’s visit has re-instated the long-standing strategic partnership between India and France. It has also reinforced bilateral defence cooperation between both countries.

Meeting with Dignitaries

General Anil met several dignitaries during his visit and interacted with them on topics of common interest and security issues. He met with Mr. Patrick Pailloux, Director of the Civil & Military Cabinet of the Minister of the French Armed Forces and Lt. Gen. Vincent Giraud, Chief of the Military Cabinet of the Minister of the Armed Forces. According to the official Twitter account of Headquarters Defence Staff (HQ IDS), India, “General Anil Chauhan, #CDS_India ????????, called Mr. Mr Patrick Pailloux, Director of Civil & Military Cabinet of the Minister of the French Armed Forces and also interacted with Lt Gen Vincent Giraud, Chief of Mil Cabinet of the Minister of the Armed Forces. The meeting reaffirms the continued long standing #StrategicPartnership between India & France and further strengthens bilateral #DefenceCooperation. “

General Anil also called on his French counterpart, General Thierry Burkhard. According to the latter’s official Twitter statement, “Aux Invalides, honneurs militaires pour mon homologue ????????, le général Anil Chauhan. Au cours d’un déjeuner de travail, nous avons partagé notre appréciation des enjeux de sécurité de la Mer Rouge au Pacifique. Le succès de notre coopération militaire bilatérale est le reflet de l’amitié” (Translation: “At the Invalides, military honors for my counterpart ???????? , General Anil Chauhan. During a working lunch, we shared our appreciation of the security challenges from the Red Sea to the Pacific. The success of our bilateral military cooperation is a reflection of friendship.”

Important Exchanges

General Anil also participated in exchanges at the French Land Forces Command (CFT), the School of Military Studies (Ecole Militaire), and the French Space Command (CDE). These meetings provided India’s point of view on security matters and opened up opportunities for modernising initiatives and enhancing defence collaboration in space. HQ IDS noted that “General Anil Chauhan…interacted with Lt Gen Benoit Duriex, Director of the prestigious Institute of Advanced Studies in National Defence, #IHEDN and exchanged views on enhancing higher-level military training and research between both nations. #CDS also addressed the student officers at the Joint Staff College and shared valuable insights on contemporary security threats and challenges.”

General Anil also interacted with France’s Directorate General of Armament, facilitating the exchange of high-end dual-use technologies. It was followed by interactions with the leadership of the French defence industry, including Safran and Naval Groups, Dassault, and Thales Alenia Space, which aimed to build capacity in the Indian Armed Forces, eventually helping in indigenisation. The HQ IDS tweeted, “During his ongoing visit to France, General Anil Chauhan, #CDS_India met Mr. Emmanuel Chiva, General Delegate of France’s Directorate General of Armament @DGA for enhancing #DefenceCooperation in the field of military equipment & high end technologies. #CDS also interacted with top leadership from French #Defencelndustry and visited the Safran Group HQ & Naval Group HQ to discuss futuristic technologies.”

India and France share a long history of bilateral relations. During his visit, General Anil paid tribute to the war memorials at Neuve-Chapelle and Villers-Guislain, symbolising India’s contribution to achieving peace and stability on the Western Front. The India-France strategic partnership has undergone significant growth over the years. The Indo-French relationship has become even more robust and multifaceted, with growing cooperation in diverse sectors.