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May 31, 2011

German Defence Minister to meet Antony: fighter deal on agenda

(PTI) In the race for bagging the multi-billion dollar combat aircraft deal, German Defence Minister Thomas de Maizere will meet his Indian counterpart A K Antony here tomorrow.The German Defence Minister is part of the delegation led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel who will be discussing a range of issues with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh."The two sides are expected to discuss ways to increase security cooperation and strengthen counter-piracy measures along with the Indian Air Force (IAF) deal to procure 126 Medium Weight-Multi Role Combat Aircraft (M-MRCA)," Defence Ministry officials said.Eurofighter Typhoon, built by four nations including Germany, is one of the two selected aircraft for the M-MRCA tender, including French Dassault Rafale.Hard-selling its aircraft, German Ambassador to India Thomas Matussek appreciated the "transparency and orderly manner" in which India had approached MMRCA deal and said Germany is prepared to share most modern technology with its Indian partners.India and Germany share a strategic partnership in the field of defence.In 2006, the two sides signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the establishment of three bilateral working groups focusing on strategic and policy matters on military issues, cooperation between the armed forces, defence technology and defence business cooperation.

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