NEW DELHI: France on Friday denied Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s assertion that the Indian government had lied to the country about a secrecy pact with France on the Rafale jet deal.
In Parliament, Rahul asserted that French President Emmanuel Macron himself had told him that there was no secrecy pact with India on the Rafale jet deal, and accused PM Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman of lying to the nation. “I personally met the French President and asked him if there was a secrecy pact with India. He told me that no such pact was signed between the two countries. He said he had no hesitation in saying this and that I can tell this to my country,” Rahul said.
But, the French Foreign ministry spokesperson asserted that there was indeed a security agreement which prohibited the disclosure of details of the Rafale deal. “We have noted the statement of Mr Rahul Gandhi before the Indian Parliament,” the Spokesperson of the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs said. “ France and India concluded in 2008 a Security agreement, which legally binds them to protect the classified information provided by the partner, that could impact security and operational capabilities of the defence equipment of India or France.