French President Emmanuel Macron’s upcoming visit to India promises to be significant, featuring a roadshow in Jaipur alongside Prime Minister Narendra Modi and substantial defense-related announcements, according to reports.
Macron has been invited to be the chief guest for the Republic Day celebrations on January 26, an honor reserved by New Delhi for nations with close bilateral ties.
France’s Special Connection with India’s Republic Day Parade
Macron will become the sixth French leader to attend India’s Republic Day parade, showcasing the unique bond between the two nations. Former French presidents Francois Hollande, Nicolas Sarkozy, and Valery Giscard d’Estaing, as well as former PM Jacques Chirac, have previously participated in this prestigious event.
Defense Highlights: Rafale Jets and Strategic Partnership
Defense plays a pivotal role in Indo-French relations, evident in the participation of France’s Rafale jets and a contingent from the French Army in next week’s Republic Day celebrations. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Indo-French strategic partnership, with Paris emerging as one of New Delhi’s top defense partners.
The focus remains on the “Make in India” initiative, as demonstrated by key initiatives unveiled during PM Modi’s recent visit to Paris. These include French assistance in building the “Shakti Engine,” joint exploration for Indian submarine fleet development, and collaborative efforts in the Indo-Pacific region.
Republic Day Celebrations Tradition
The Republic Day celebrations in India traditionally involve inviting a top foreign leader as the chief guest. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, no chief guests were invited for the 2021 and 2022 Republic Day parades. In 2023, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi graced the occasion as the chief guest.
As Macron prepares to join the distinguished list of foreign leaders attending India’s Republic Day celebrations, the anticipation is high for the roadshow in Jaipur and key announcements in the realm of defense cooperation. Stay tuned for the highlights of this significant diplomatic visit