“Happy, proud to be with you…,” French President Macron greets “dear friend” PM Modi, Indians on Republic Day

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New Delhi: French President Emmanuel Macron extended Republic Day wishes on Friday to the people of India and expressed his happiness over being part of the Republic Day celebrations in Delhi.

Macron, who is the chief guest at 75th Republic Day celebrations today. who arrived in Jaipur on Thursday was given a red carpet reception and held bilateral talks with PM Modi and exchanged perspectives on a wide-range of bilateral and global issues.

Calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi a dear friend, Macron took to X to post, “My dear friend @NarendraModi, Indian people, My warmest wishes on your Republic Day. Happy and proud to be with you. Let’s celebrate!”
This marks a unique reciprocal exchange following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to France on its National Day in July 2023.

This momentous visit by Macron culminates in the 25th-anniversary celebrations of the Strategic Partnership between India and France. This is the sixth time (the highest for any country) a French leader is participating in India’s biggest ceremonial event.

This tradition began with President Jacques Chirac in 1976, followed by Valery Giscard d’Estaing in 1980, Nicolas Sarkozy in 2008, and Francois Hollande in 2016. PM Modi and President Macron have engaged in a series of high-profile meetings throughout 2023, underscoring the strength and depth of the bilateral relationship.

Their interactions have spanned various global platforms, including the COP 28 Summit in Dubai, the G20 Leaders’ Summit, and the G7 Summit in Hiroshima. Notably, President Macron was also the Guest of Honour at the Bastille Day Celebrations in France in July 2023.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s last visit to France for Bastille Day in July 2023 was a spectacle of symbolism and substance. The visit showcased the strong bonds between the two nations, with a tri-service Indian armed forces contingent marching at Champs-Elysees and a spectacular flypast by Rafale jets.

During the visit, Prime Minister Modi was honoured with the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour, a prestigious recognition in France. A State Banquet at the Louvre Museum and a private dinner at Elysee highlighted the grandeur of the occasion. The Prime Minister also addressed the Indian community at La Seine Musicale.

On the substantive front, two key roadmaps, namely the India-France Horizon 2047 Roadmap and the Indo-Pacific Roadmap, were adopted. A total of 12 crucial documents were signed, covering areas such as UPI on Eiffel, museum cooperation, digital technologies, civil aviation, space (Trishna IA), and MDA (STP).

Furthermore, 11 announcements were made, including the establishment of the French Bureau in Hyderabad, cooperation in sports, increased CEFIPRA funding, a 5-year Schengen visa for Indian degree holders from French universities, visa exemption on official passports, and collaboration in launch services between NSIL and Arianespace.

“Taking India-France Strategic Partnership to greater heights! Productive discussions held between PM @narendramodi and President @EmmanuelMacron of France in Jaipur. The two leaders took stock of bilateral ties & exchanged perspectives on a wide-range of bilateral and global issues,” Ministry of External Affiars (MEA) Official Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal wrote on X.

PM Modi said that it is a matter of great pride that the French President will be taking part in the 75th Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi on Friday. He said that Macron’s presence not only strengthens the ties between the two nations but also adds a significant chapter to “our shared history of friendship and collaboration.”

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