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India signs agreement to buy 36 French Rafale fighter jets

AFP / Manjunath Kiran |A Rafale multi-role combat aircraft from Dassault Aviation of France takes off at Yelahanka Airforce Station in Bangalore, India, during the Aero India air show on on February 18, 2015.

India and France have signed an agreement on the long-delayed purchase of 36 French Rafale jet fighters but have yet to reach a final deal on financial issues, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Monday.

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"We have completed an inter-governmental agreement for the purchase of 36 Rafales, with the exception of the financial aspects," Modi said after meeting in New Delhi with French President François Hollande, who is on a three-day visit to India.

Modi announced India's intention to buy the Rafale jets (manufactured by Dassault Aviation) during a visit to Paris in April, touching off several rounds of negotiations over the price and details such as servicing.

The two sides were expected to sign a final agreement during Hollande's visit.

France has previously sold Rafales to both Egypt and Qatar for multi-billion euro contracts, though other proposed deals have fallen through, notably with Brazil.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP)

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