New Delhi: Reacting to the allegations made by Congress President Rahul Gandhi, France issued statement and asserted that the security agreement of 2008 legally binds the two nations to protect classified information. Rahul Gandhi claimed on Friday that he had met French President and talked about the secrecy clause in the Rafale fighters deal.
France also added that the provisions of the agreement is also applicable to the Inter Governmental Agreement on 36 Rafale aircrafts, the negotiations for which concluded in September 2016.
According to news agency ANI, France, said in a statement that, “We have noted the statement of Mr Rahul Gandhi before the Indian Parliament. France and India concluded in 2008 a Security agreement, which legally binds the two States to protect the classified information provided by the partner, that could impact security and operational capabilities of the defence equipment of India or France. These provisions naturally apply to the IGA concluded on 23 September 2016 on the acquisition of 36 Rafale aircraft and their weapons.”
Rahul in his speech during the debate on no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha claimed that he had met French President during his visit to India and had asked about the secrecy clause in the pact, which according to the Congress president was denied by the French President.
In March 2018, French President Emmanuel Macron during his visit to India had said in an interview that Rafale was a well negotiated deal but the details of that cannot be revealed.