The French President Francois Hollande appears to have met with success in his mission to India, which was patently orientated to securing business for French companies.
According to a Reuters report, France’s Rafale jet talks with India will also “brighten after rough patch.” Hollande is “hopeful” that the $10 billion dollar deal will come through.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the talks on the deal are “progressing well.” However, the MMRCA deal cannot be speeded up in the present climate of scams after scams burning up the government’s reputation.
This is where the forthcoming visit by British Prime Minister David Cameron to India will be of added interest. No doubt, Cameron will get an update on the unfolding Italian scandal involving Finmeccanica.
The Italian scandal is a bread and butter issue for Cameron. But what can Cameron do? For one thing, Delhi’s political equations with Rome are not in good shape following the senseless feud over the continued detention of 2 Italian Marines in India. Rome is peeved that Delhi was unnecessarily cussed.
Cameron can be helpful as go-between. Britain is immensely experienced in handling delicate situations arising out of sleazy arms deals. Remember the infamous Al-Yamamah deal involving Saudi Arabia and the British Ministry of Defence?
Put differently, Defence Minister A. K. Antony has threatened to cancel the helicopter deal altogether. And Cameron will ensure, no matter what it takes, that Antony does no such rash thing.
– February 15, 2013