New Delhi: French envoy to India, Emmanuel Lenain, on Sunday paid tribute to the Indian Armed Forces on the 21st anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas, asserting that ‘France always stands alongside India’. Also Read - Kargil Vijay Diwas 2020: Captain Vikram Batra's Story, All You Need to Know About The War Hero Before Rooting For Sidharth Malhotra's Shershaah

He tweeted: “On Kargil Vijay Diwas 2020, France pays tribute to the Indian armed forces: France always stands alongside India. Mirage 2000 in 1999 to Rafale in 2020: our partnership touches soaring heights”. Also Read - Mann Ki Baat Highlights | Threat of Coronavirus Not Over Yet, Says PM Modi; Pays Tribute to Jawans on Kargil Vijay Diwas

The French ambassador’s tweet comes at a time his country’s ties with India have witnessed further strengthening. Recently, France became the first country to offer India the full support of its armed forces over the latter’s recent border skirmishes with China.

Lenain’s mention of the Mirage 2000 and Rafale fighter jets, both French-made, meanwhile, was to highlight the ever-growing partnership between the two countries, and, in Mirage’s case, its use in the 1999 Kargil War.

Notably, India is today observing the 21st anniversary of its decisive victory over Pakistan in the 1999 Kargil War, which was fought from early May to late July that year. On July 26, 1999, the Indian Army announced complete eviction of Pakistani intruders and hence, since then, the day is observed as ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’ or simply ‘Vijay Diwas’.

The Mirage 2000 jets played an instrumental role in winning India this war. Also, In September 2016, India signed a contract with France for 36 Rafales for the Indian Air Force (IAF). While the first six are expected to arrive here by July-end, it is only by April 2022 that India will get its full quota of the 36 Rafale jets.