No scandal in Rafale Deal, says French ambassador Zeigler in Bengaluru

India and France have a long history of trade relations, Rafale offset will bring major employment opportunities for Indians.

The Ambassador of France to India, Alexandre Ziegler said on Wednesday that there was no wrongdoing associated with the Rafale deal. Citing the historical ‘cooperation’ between the two countries, he urged people to heed the facts.

Denying the existence of any scandal, Ziegler stated, “What scandal? Just look at the facts, not at the tweets, that’s my only recommendation. There is no scandal at all.”

While at a function to launch French Tech Community in Bengaluru, he said, “See the track record, see how the trust has been fostered between our two countries in the field of aeronautics. Look at the Indian government’s commitment to Make in India, which is impressive. Fifty per cent offset is very unique, look at the major procurement.”

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On the allegation of HAL losing potential jobs because of the Rafale deal, Ziegler asked if HAL has raised concerns of job-loss. “Have they raised apprehensions about lost jobs? I am unaware of what potential jobs are, about four billion Euros will be invested in India. There will be room for hundreds of companies to provide employment with such a large amount,” he added.

In addition, the Ambassador also acknowledged the presence of all major French companies in Aero India, scheduled in mid-February.”I can’t tell you the number, but all our major companies will be there,” Ziegler said. Stressing on the fact that nearly all big French companies have been spending in India for decades now, he said, “we have had long historical trade relations with India.”

Ziegler also claimed that French companies didn’t wait for Make in India initiative. “We have been making in India for decades now. Technology has been transferred. All major companies like Dassault, Airbus, Thales have an enduring presence in India,” he said.

Congress has been falsely claiming that the government of forcing Dassault Aviation to choose Reliance Defence its offset partner in the Rafale deal. Rahul Gandhi has alleged that the government was aiding Anil Ambani to get a contract worth Rs 30,000 crore. However, these claims have been soundly dismissed by both the Indian and the French governments.

However, the Dassault CEO Eric Trappier had refuted the allegations levelled by the Congress party. Reliance Group has also said that Dassault’s investment in Reliance Airport Developers Limited is independent of the Rafale deal. They have accused Congress of spreading lies to gain political mileage. Anil Ambani has also filed a defamation suit against Congress leaders for lying on Rafale deal.

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