PM Modi Holds Talks With French President Macron, Hails Defence Ties And Says Roadmap For Future Being Worked Out

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also attended the Bastille Day Parade In France with French President Emmanuel Macron. A tri-services contingent of the Indian Armed Forces also marched in the parade.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday and hailed the defence ties of the two counties. 

At a time when the India and France are celebrating 25 years of strategic partnership, Modi said that the two countries are working on a roadmap to further strengthen bilateral relations over the next 25 years.

Modi is on a two-day visit of France. Before holding talks with Macron, Modi joined him as the Guest of Honour at the Bastille Day Parade where an Indian tri-services contingent also marched and Indian Rafale fighter planes conducted a fly-by. The French government also honoured Modi with Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour, the highest honour of the country. He is the only Prime Minister of India to be conferred this honour.

What did PM Modi say about India-France relationship?

Modi was received by Macron at the Elysee Palace. In remarks after the reception, he said that defence ties have always been a strong pillar of the India-France relationship. 

"We are celebrating the 25th anniversary of our Strategic Partnership. On the strong foundation of the last 25 years, we are preparing a roadmap for the coming 25 years. We are setting bold and ambitious goals for this," said Modi.

Modi also spoke of the French role in self-reliance efforts, dubbed as the 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' initiative, under which the Modi government has sought to boost indigenous production.

He said, "France is an important partner in ‘Make in India’ and Aatmanirbhar Bharat...Be it submarines or naval aircraft, together we want to fulfil not just ours but also the requirements of other friendly countries."

Modi also touched on the global repercussions and disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the Ukraine War.

He said, "This is a matter of concern. To find solutions to such problems, it is important for countries to make efforts unitedly. We believe that all disputes can be resolved only through dialogue and diplomacy. India is willing to contribute to lasting peace."

On terrorism, Modi said, "In the fight against terrorism, India and France have been together. We believe that strong action needs to be taken against cross-border terrorism."

Modi also said India and France have agreed to launch India's Unified Payment Interface (UPI) in France.

Modi also announced that India would open a new Consulate in Marseilles in southern France. 

The Bastille Day Parade 

Earlier on Friday, Modi attended the Bastille Day Parade along with Macron as the Guest of Honour. 

A tri-services contingent of India also participated in the parade and Rafael fighter planes conducted a fly-past. 

On the occasion, Macron said on Twitter, "A giant in world history, with a decisive role to play in the future, a strategic partner, a friend.We are proud to welcome India as our guest of honour at the 14 July parade.

"This 14 July, soldiers and Rafale aircraft from India are marching and flying alongside our troops.

"We honour the memory of those who fought with the French in the First World War. We shall never forget."

On his part, Modi tweeted, "On this historic occasion of Bastille Day, joined the parade in Paris. My heartfelt gratitude for the warm welcome and honour received," Prime Minister Modi tweeted along with pictures of the impressive march-past...India, inspired by its centuries old ethos, is committed to doing everything possible to make our planet peaceful, prosperous and sustainable. 1.4 billion Indians will always be grateful to France for being a strong and trusted partner. May the bond deepen even further!" 

Earlier on Thursday, Modi also met French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne and Senate President Gerard Larcher.

"PM Narendra Modi held fruitful talks with PM Elisabeth Borne in Paris. The leaders reviewed various facets of India-France partnership as well as discussed measures to further strengthen the ties between both the countries," sad the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in a tweet.

Modi also had a "productive meeting" with Larcher and the two leaders deliberated on a range of issues of mutual interest and agreed to work together to deepen India-France cooperation in a number of areas, said the PMO