French President Macron to be the Chief Guest at India's Republic Day Fest
French President Macron to be the Chief Guest at India's Republic Day Fest

French President Emmanuel Macron is likely to grace the Republic Day festivities in Delhi as the chief guest, reinforcing the robust strategic alliance between India and France, which has gained substantial momentum in recent times.

Sources said that India and France are in the final stages of ironing out the details for this significant visit amid the current turbulent global geopolitical landscape.

Both nations share a common approach of strategic independence in their foreign policies. Prime Minister Narendra Modi enjoys a strong rapport with Macron, fostering excellent chemistry between the two leaders.

The last time a French president attended the Republic Day celebrations as the chief guest was in 2016, during Francois Hollande's presidency. Earlier this year, Modi was the chief guest at France's Bastille Day celebrations, marking the 25th anniversary of the India-France Strategic Partnership with a 241-member tri-service Indian armed forces contingent participating in the Parade.

France has emerged as a key defense partner for India, particularly under the Make in India initiative. Additionally, France has been a long-standing collaborator in India's civil nuclear energy program. Notably, unlike some Western nations, France refrained from imposing sanctions on India post the Pokhran-II nuclear tests.

A noteworthy aspect of the Indo-French relationship is France's non-interference in India's internal affairs, avoiding commentary on issues like human rights and press freedom, as highlighted by an observer.

Recent developments also include France's submission of a response to India's Rs 50,000 crore tender for the acquisition of 26 Rafale Marine fighter jets for the Indian Navy. This potential $6 billion deal aims to bolster the Indian Navy's capabilities, comprising 22 single-seated Rafale Marine aircraft and four twin-seater trainer versions.

France holds a pivotal position as India's strategic partner in the Indian Ocean Region, evident from their collaboration in trilaterals involving the UAE and Australia.

Notably, French leaders have previously graced India's Republic Day celebrations, including Jacques Chirac as PM in 1976, Valery Giscard d'Estaing as President in 1980, Jacques Chirac as President in 1988, Nicolas Sarkozy as President in 2008, and Francois Hollande in 2016.

While India had extended an invitation to US President Joe Biden to attend the Republic Day as chief guest alongside the Quad Summit, Biden had to decline reportedly due to the State of the Union address commitments.

Here's Why India Postpones Quad Summit Meeting Amid Strained Relations

Indian Navy Getting Closer Rafale Acquisition Bid; France Sends Detailed Offer


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