Pic: Mohd Yusni AriffinKUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will enhance intelligence sharing with France in efforts to counter the growing threat of the Islamic State (IS).
Hishammuddin told reporters this after he co-chaired the Defence Joint Higher Strategic Meeting with France Defence Minister Jean-Yved Le Drian at the ministry here, today.
Prime Minister Najib Razak, himself a former defense minister, met Mr. Le Drian and executives from the French defense industry.
Concurring with the views, Le Drian said maritime issues like piracy and terrorism, must to be taken as a responsibility for both countries.
French manufacturer Dassault Aviation, which builds the Rafale, is said to be in talks with Malaysia to supply 16 of the multi-role combat jets.
“It’s part and parcel of the industry and it’s a proposal we look at and I have been very transparent with the Malaysian public that it’s a question of affordability”, he added, when asked about Malaysia’s interest in the fighter jet.
However, Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has denied he had discussed the possibility of Mistral-class helicopter carriers purchase with his French counterpart.
The discussion on the Mistral was voiced out earlier in the meeting with Najib. According to La Tribune, Malaysia had been interested in buying an aircraft similar to a Mistral for at least 10 years.