Le Drian on Wednesday discussed reaching a bilateral agreement between governments on the Rafale sale with India's Manohar Parrikar.
They agreed to set up teams to agree the details in a short space of time, a statement said.
The deal was agreed in April after three years of price negotiations for the local assembly of 126 fighter jets in India fell through.
Following that failure, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government insisted that all future orders should be backed up by an inter-governmental agreement.
Discussions with the United Arab Emirates should result in a fourth sale, Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius told Europe 1 radio on Wednesday.
France has carved out a favourable position with the Gulf states, who are investing in arms in part because of the improvement in relations between Iran and the US and the spread of Tehran's influence in the region.