French Ambassador Alexandre Ziegler speaking at the Jaipur Literature Festival on Friday
French Ambassador Alexandre Ziegler speaking at the Jaipur Literature Festival on Friday

Issues like Rafale will not affect ties with India: French envoy

ANI | Updated: Jan 25, 2019 18:56 IST

Jaipur (Rajasthan)  [India], Jan 25 (ANI): French Ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler on Friday said that issues like Rafale will not affect relations between India and France.
Speaking at the Jaipur Literature Festival, Ziegler said France is generating more than three lakh jobs in India and investment was coming in everyday. "So these short-term political issues will not affect our relationship," he said.
He also said that the two countries are building people-to-people ties.
"France and India's relationship goes back 70 years. It is based on trust. We are here in the good moments, which is easy, but we also are here when it is tough," he added.
Earlier, he refused to answer a question on the Rafale fighter jet deal, saying he was at the literature festival to talk about books.
Ziegler said: "Honestly, I think we are here to speak about books and not about politics."
When the questioner persisted, the envoy firmly told him: "I think I have answered."
The questioner asked for the envoy's response to Dassault Aviation CEO Eric Trappier telling the French Senate that the MMRCA (Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft) deal for 126 Rafale fighter jets was being renegotiated by the Indian government, contrary to the claims of the NDA government that it had been scrapped.
The deal for 36 fighter jets agreed to during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 2015 visit to France has kicked up a massive political row in the country, with the opposition alleging corruption in the deal.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi, who has been continually attacking the government, has said if his party comes to power in the Lok Sabha elections, a criminal investigation will be launched into the Rafale deal and the accused will be punished. (ANI)