Mumbai: Soon after Congress president Rahul Gandhi claimed in the Parliament that there is no secrecy pact with France that stops the Centre from revealing the details about the Rafale jet deal, France contradicted his statement and said that there is an agreement that binds the two countries to protect the classified information provided by the partner.
According to news agency ANI, France in a statement said, "These provisions naturally apply to the IGA concluded on 23 September 2016 on the acquisition of 36 Rafale aircraft and their weapon."
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: France statement 2/2 https://t.co/vhHhAi9fMi— ANI (@ANI) July 20, 2018
The statement came after Rahul Gandhi said during the no-trust vote that France does not have any objection to New Delhi disclosing the pricing details of the Rafale fighter jets bought by the government in 2016.
The statement further added, "As the President of the French Republic indicated publicly in an interview given to India Today on 9th March 2018, in India and in France, when a deal is very sensitive, we can’t reveal all details."
However, reacting to France’s statement, Rahul Gandhi said: “Let them deny it if they want. He (French President) said that before me. I was there. Anand Sharma and Dr Manmohan Singh were also there.
During the debate on the no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha, Congress chief attacked the Modi government and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on the Rafale deal and alleged that she had spoken "untruth" when she claimed that the Indian government could not reveal details of the deal due to a confidentiality clause in the agreement with France.
He also claimed that the French president has personally told him that there was no secret pact between Indian and French governments.
However, while making an intervention, Sitharaman termed Gandhi’s claims as "absolutely wrong" and said the initial agreement was signed when the UPA was in power in 2008.
The minister also referred to two particular interviews that the French President had given to Indian TV channels and said, "In the interviews, the French President had said that commercial details of the Rafale deal cannot be revealed."
Sitharaman quoted the French President as saying in the interviews while replying to specific questions about the Rafale deal: "You have these commercial agreements and obviously you have competitors and we cannot reveal the details"....