The French government said that now it fears damage to its relations with India after former French President Francois Hollande stirred controversy about a Rafale fighter jet deal.
Hollande, who left office in May 2017 was quoted by a French publication as saying that the Indian government proposed Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence as the partner for Dassault Aviation in the Rs 58,000 crore Rafale jet fighter deal and France did not have a choice.
This statement triggered massive political storm in India, as it strengthened the opposition claims that the Modi government had intervened to favour Anil Ambani at the cost of HAL.
Junior foreign minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said in an interview that “I find these remarks made overseas, which concern important international relations between France and India, do not help anyone and above all do not help France.”
He further added that “Because one is no longer in office, causing damage to a strategic partnership between India and France by making remarks that clearly cause controversy in India is really not appropriate.”