NEW DELHI (News Desk) – India is nearing to sign a final agreement with France to purchase as many as 36 Rafale fighter jets, as Indian newspaper The Hindu has quoted Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar as saying that “negotiations for price are in the final stages.”

New Delhi and Paris can struck a deal in this regard during forthcoming visit of French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who is scheduled to arrive in India on January 18.

Sources in Pakistani defence establishment told Daily Pakistan Global that although Drian’s trip is very short and mainly limited to making arrangements for January 26 visit of French President Francoise Hollande. India has invited Mr Hollande to become chief guest at Republic Day’s central ceremony in New Delhi.

Sources said that probability of any such agreement is very high because the two countries need to have something big at the agenda when Narendra Modi and Francoise Hollande meet on such a national occasion.

The situation can be compared with last year when India invited US President Barack Obama on Republic Day as chief guest and they tabled long discussed civil nuclear deal between two countries just to match importance of the meeting, sources added.

Earlier in April last year Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced to buy Rafale fighter jets directly from France after a meeting with President Francoise Hollande in Paris.