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Parallel Negotiations by PMO on Rafale Deal May be Detrimental to India’s Interest: Second Installment of Defence Ministry’s Note on Rafale Deal Suggests

This new document was shared by Congress leader Manish Tewari on Twitter.

Senior Congress leader Manish Tewari on Saturday, February 9, released a portion of the Ministry of Defence’s note on the Rafale Deal, which clearly states that parallel negotiations between the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the French team on the Rafale deal may be detrimental to India’s interests.

This development comes a day after Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman released a portion of then-defence minister Manohar Parrikar’s reply on the deal; following The Hindu‘s article which published the then Defence Secretary’s note that said PMO was running parallel negotiations with the French side on the Rafale Deal.

The document shared by Tewari states, “The discussions between Diplomatic Adviser to the French Defence Minister and Joint Secretary to PM tantamount to parallel negotiations while the Indian Negotiating Team constituted by the Ministry of Defence is undertaking the process of formal negotiations with the French side.”

Also read: Rafale Parallel Negotiations By PMO Weakened India’s Negotiating Team: Defence Ministry’s Note

“Such parallel negotiations may be detrimental to our interests as the French side may take advantage of same by interpreting such discussions to their benefit and weakening position taken by the Indian negotiating team,” the document added.

On February 8, The Hindu’s report threw light on the fact that then Defence Secretary G Mohan Kumar had written, “RM (Raksha Mantri) may pl. see. It is desirable that the PMO avoids such discussions as it undermines our negotiating position seriously.” Parrikar’s reply to these objections further clarifies that the PMO was handling parallel negotiations. Parrikar’s reply was, “It appears that PMO and the French President’s office are monitoring the issue which was an outcome of the summit meeting. Para 5 appears to be an overreaction.”

Also read: Why Manohar Parrikar’s Reply to Defence Ministry’s Rafale Note Does More Harm to The Modi Govt

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