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India promises to stick with Rafale jet sale after Modi election

A French-built "all-purpose" Rafale jet
A French-built "all-purpose" Rafale jet Reuters/Benoit Tessier/Files

The defence ministers of France and India have said they will iron out differences over the sale of 126 Rafale fighter jets to India. Talks had floundered and there had been fears that India’s new government, elected in May, might scrap the 12-billion-euro deal.

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Talks have dragged on since 2012 when New Delhi chose to negotiate exclusively with France's Dassault Aviation.

On his first official visit to India Tuesday, French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian met his Indian counterpart Manohar Parrikar.

The two men declared that all differences on the sale would be resolved rapidly.

While disagreement over the price and delivery has slowed the process, the deal would be one of the world's biggest aeronautics contracts.

India is the world's number one weapons importer and is in the midst of upgrading its defence programme.

These Mirages would be of huge service to India, Ben Moores, senior analyst with IHS Aerospace & Defense Forecasting in London, told RFI.

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