At a ceremony in Mérignac, French Defense Minister Florence Parly was in attendance as her Indian counterpart, Shri Rajnath Singh, took delivery of the first of the 36 Rafales fighter jets ordered from France in September 2016.

The ministers also are scheduled to hold talks on defense cooperation and security issues in the Indo-Pacific region.

The $8.78 billion deal sparked controversy in India last year with the main opposition Indian National Congress party accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government of buying the aircraft at nearly three times the price being negotiated when it was the ruling party before Modi came to power in 2014. The government denied any wrongdoing.

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