France praises ‘intimacy’ with Indonesia

FRANCE’S defence minister met his Indonesian counterpart in Jakarta, lauding the close ties between the two countries following a US$8bil (RM36bil) fighter jet deal signed earlier this year.

“There is a powerful strategic intimacy that is being born with Indonesia and France,” said French Armed Forces Minister Sebastien Lecornu.

Indonesia placed an order for 42 of France’s Rafale fighter jets in a US$8.1bil deal agreed to in February.

The two countries are also in talks over the purchase of two Scorpene-class attack submarines.

Lecornu met his counterpart Prabowo Subianto as Indonesia prepares to take over the rotating presidency of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asean).

France has been accepted as an observer state in ADMM-Plus, Asean’s defence platform, Lecornu tweeted yesterday, joining countries including the United States and China. — AFP

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