The past few years have seen growing defence collaboration between the two countries

India and France are looking at new initiatives as part of their ongoing bilateral defence cooperation.

The matter was discussed at the 20th edition of India-France Joint Staff talks was held in Paris, France according to information provided by the Ministry of Defence on Thursday.

"The discussions focused on new initiatives under the ambit of existing bilateral defence cooperation mechanism and strengthening ongoing defence engagements," said the ministry.

The meeting, held on Tuesday and Wednesday, was co-chaired by Assistant Chief of Integrated Staff, Int-C (Military Cooperation), Headquarters, Integrated Defence Staff (HQ IDS) Air Vice Marshal B Manikantan and Head of Bilateral Cooperation South/Staff HQ Brigadier General Eric Peltier.

The India-France Joint Staff talks is a forum established to enhance defence cooperation between both the nations through regular talks at the strategic and operational levels.

The past few years have seen growing collaboration between the two countries in the defence sector. This includes regular joint exercises between the militaries of the two countries.

Varuna-2022, the 20th edition of the Indo-French Bilateral Naval exercise, was conducted in the Arabian Sea from March 30-April 3 this year.

In November last year, India and France participated in the 6th edition of the biennial military exercise, Shakti- 2021. Contingents from India and France had exhibited their combat power and dominance over the extremist groups in simulated Counter Insurgency (CI) and Counter Terrorism (CT) environment.