11:56 GMT11 July 2020
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    India and France still need to iron out some differences before they sign a long-awaited deal on Rafale fighter jets, Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar said Thursday.

    NEW DELHI (Sputnik) — The countries have been in talks on Rafales since 2012 but disagreements on the pricing and India’s demands for additional guarantees have hindered the signing.

    "…From our side Rafale deal is quite in an advanced stage, still few points [remain] which we have to discuss," Parrikar said, adding the military hoped to close the deal "very soon."

    The agreement should also be cleared by the government’s Defense Acquisition Council and approved by the cabinet, he added during a press event at the Naval Commander's Conference in New Delhi.

    "I can't say that negotiations are totally cleared until we signed the deal. Or at least the deal is forwarded to cabinet for approval," Parrikar admitted.

    In January 2016, India and France signed an intergovernmental agreement on the purchase of the 36 Rafale fighter jets. The deal is reportedly worth $8.8 billion.


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