Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday raised with French President Francois Hollande the leak of confidential data on the Indian Scorpene Class submarines being built in Mumbai in collaboration with French defence company DCNS on the sidelines of the G20 Summit. On the second and final day of the summit in this east Chinese city, Modi held separate “pull-aside” meetings with Hollande and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with whom he discussed India’s NSG membership.
Prior to those meetings, Modi met Britain’s new Prime Minister Theresa May and held discussions on “building opportunities” in the aftermath of UK’s decision to exit the European Union.
In his meeting with Hollande, Modi raised the leak of sensitive data related to Scorpene Class submarines. “This issue has also figured (in the talks),” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup told reporters.
Over 22,000 pages of secret data on the capabilities of six highly-advanced submarines being built for the Indian Navy in Mumbai in collaboration with French defence company DCNS were leaked. The data leak reportedly happened overseas.
In his meeting with Erdogan, the Prime Minister discussed the issue of India’s membership of the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Swarup said. The discussion with Erdogan on NSG was significant as Turkey was among the few countries — along with China — which had stalled India’s bid to join the elite grouping at its plenary meeting in June in Seoul.
China had then raised objection saying India was not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Turkey too raised its concern over the presence of supporters of dissident Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen in India. Turkey accuses Gulen of masterminding the failed July coup attempt.
Swarup said enhancing civil aviation cooperation with Turkey also figured during the discussions.