Monday, 24 September, 2018

India and France sign 14 agreements as President Macron eyes strategic partnership

French President Emmanuel Macron Will French president's India-visit be significant for India?
Cassandra Gardner | 11 March, 2018, 01:07

He was warmly received by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the airport. During his interaction with the students, French President Emmanuel Macron spoke on the number of issues like education, climate change, the advance of digital era, the bond between both the nations including other issues.

French president Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday that he wanted his country to be India's "partner of choice" in Europe as he started a four-day visit to India aimed at ratcheting up security and energy ties. Modi said that the two countries are bound from the Liberty, Equality, Fraternity Constitution of India, not only in France.

While India and France announced a slew of pacts and billions of dollars in trade deals to much fanfare on Saturday, Indo-French co-operation quietly took one small step towards a joint giant leap towards literally reaching for the stars.

"Your historical partner in Europe was the United Kingdom, and I want France to become the new partner", Macron told Indian media.

India and France will also develop a wider dialogue on space situational awareness.

French President Macron will be accorded ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhawan in the morning.

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Mr Modi and Mr Macron are particularly anxious as China extended its military presence by opening a naval base in the eastern African nation of Djibouti previous year.

The two countries have signed 14 agreements today. During his visit to Varanasi on Monday, he will inaugurate a 75 MW solar plant built by French firm Engie Solar in Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh.

"A strong part of our security and the world's stability is at stake in the Indian Ocean", Mr Macron said.

The visiting leader also met President Ram Nath Kovind and Minister of External Affairs (MEA) Sushma Swaraj.

In his statement, Modi said that the strategic partnership between the two countries may be just 20-years-old, but the cultural and spiritual partnership was even older. Macron will be in India from March 9 to 12 to strengthen the strategic partnership between India and France.

Prime Minister Modi and President Macron will co-chair the International Solar Conference (ISA) on Sunday. Defence cooperation between the two countries now has a new significance, the French President said.

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