French Defence Minister Florence Parly has condoled the death of 20 Indian soldiers in a stand-off with Chinese troops in Galwan valley and expressed express "steadfast and friendly support" to India.
"This was a hard blow against the soldiers, their families, and the nation. In these difficult circumstances, I wish to express my steadfast and friendly support, along with that of the French armed forces. I request you to kindly convey my heartfelt condolences to the entire Indian armed forces as well as to the grieving families," Parly wrote to her Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh on Monday
Twenty Indian soldiers lost their lives in a violent face-off in Galwan valley on June 15-16 after an attempt by the Chinese troops to unilaterally change the status quo during the de-escalation.
Indian intercepts revealed that the Chinese side suffered 43 casualties, including dead and seriously injured, in the face-off.
Recalling that India is France's strategic partner in the region, Parly reiterated her country's deep solidarity.
The French Armed Forces Minister also expressed her readiness to meet Rajnath Singh in India, at his invitation, to follow up on their ongoing discussions.
Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Monday held video consultations with his French counterpart.
has learnt that during the conversation, France expressed keenness on working with India in the Indo-Pacific, especially the western Indian ocean. The discussion was held with Secretary-General, MFA of France.
On June 2, Singh had a telephonic conversation with Florence Parly during which the latter affirmed commitment to ensure timely delivery of Rafale aircraft despite challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic.
( With inputs from ANI )