New Delhi [India], February 24 (ANI): French Navy Chief Admiral Nicolas Vaujour on Friday emphasised that India and France have a strategic partnership and both countries are working closely, especially in the Indian Ocean.

Admiral Vaujour further said that both countries also have exercises on the bilateral issue.

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"You know that France and India have a strategic partnership and so we work very closely together, especially in the Indian Ocean and we have exercises on the bilateral issue," he said.

"I have had a lot of discussions with the Chief of the Indian Navy to improve again the way we are working. We also have capability development with India, which is very crucial in order to develop our partnership," he added.

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Earlier on Thursday, Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan held a meeting with French Navy Chief Admiral Nicolas Vaujour and discussed issues of mutual strategic interest, security challenges in the Indian Ocean Region and furthering maritime collaboration.

The two sides affirmed the significant progress in bilateral defence cooperation between the two nations.

India and France have traditionally close and friendly relations, according to the Ministry of External Affairs. In 1998, the two countries entered into a strategic partnership, which is emblematic of their convergence of views on a range of international issues apart from a close and growing bilateral relationship.

The areas of defence cooperation, space cooperation and civil nuclear cooperation constitute the three principal pillars of the Strategic Partnership between India and France. (ANI)

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