Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron today held wide-ranging talks at a 19th century palace that showcases Jaipur’s royal heritage to further consolidate bilateral strategic engagement.
The talks took place hours after the French president was accorded a red-carpet welcome in the Pink City that was followed by a PM Modi-Macron roadshow from the astronomical observation site of Jantar Mantar to the iconic Hawa Mahal.
Macron also visited the grand Amber Fort situated on the Aravalli range on the outskirts of Jaipur. He will be the chief guest at Friday’s Republic Day celebrations at the Kartavya Path in Delhi.
“Welcome to India, my friend President Emmanuel Macron. I am happy that President Macron begins his India visit from Jaipur in Rajasthan, a land with rich culture, heritage and talented people. It is a matter of great pride that he will be taking part in our Republic Day celebrations tomorrow, 26th January, in Delhi. His presence not only strengthens the ties between our nations but also adds a significant chapter to our shared history of friendship and collaboration,” PM Modi tweeted.
Welcome to India, my friend President @EmmanuelMacron.
I am happy that President Macron begins his India visit from Jaipur in Rajasthan, a land with rich culture, heritage and talented people. It is a matter of great pride that he will be taking part in our Republic Day… pic.twitter.com/Q7JGuZpJJP
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 25, 2024
PM Modi was the guest of honour at the prestigious Bastille Day Parade in Paris in July last.
Ahead of the talks between the two leaders at Taj Rambagh Palace, officials said the focus of the deliberations would be on shoring up cooperation in areas of defence and security, trade, climate change, nuclear energy and mobility of students and professionals.
The French President’s two-day visit to India is taking place as top negotiators from the two sides are eyeing to seal two mega defence deals providing for India’s procurement of 26 Rafale-M (marine version) fighter jets and three French designed Scorpene submarines.
The visit shows the “deep mutual trust” and “unwavering friendship” underpinning Indo-French ties, a French readout said on Wednesday.
“President Macron’s visit will consolidate the ambitious renewal of the France-India strategic partnership that the two leaders decided on in Paris on July 14 through the ‘Horizon 2047 Roadmap’,” it said.
Horizon 2047 is a blueprint to significantly bolster the ties when the two sides will celebrate the centenary of diplomatic relations.