New Delhi: Even after France denied Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s claim of no secrecy clause in the 2016 Rafale deal, he remained defiant.
Firm on his stand, Gandhi told the media: “Let them deny if they want.
He (French President) said that before me. I was there, Congress leader Anand Sharma and the ex-Prime Minister were also there.”
Gandhi in his speech during the debate on no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha today claimed that he had met French President during his visit to India and had asked about the secrecy clause in the pact. The Congress president claimed that the French President had denied about any such clause.
However, France has clarified that there was a 2008 security agreement between the two countries in this regard that legally binds the two nations to protect classified information.
In a statement, the spokesperson of the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs in Paris said, “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.
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”.”