France, known for its selective invitations to foreign dignitaries for the Bastille Day Parade, has extended this special honor to Prime Minister Modi. The parade, held annually on Bastille Day, features a magnificent military display along the iconic Champs Elysees in Paris.
The upcoming visit signifies the completion of 25 years of strategic partnership between India and France. In preparation for the visit, Emmanuel Bonne, the diplomatic advisor to French President Emmanuel Macron, recently visited New Delhi to finalize the bilateral agenda and discuss the potential outcomes of the two-day trip.
As a symbolic gesture to mark this milestone in the partnership, an Indian armed forces contingent will march alongside their French counterparts during the parade. Notably, an accomplished woman helicopter pilot from the Indian Air Force will lead the Indian contingent at the Bastille Day parade in Paris.
Prime Minister Modi’s visit to France aims to emphasize the strategic partnership between the two nations. It will focus on setting ambitious objectives in areas of strategic collaboration, scientific advancements, cultural exchange, and economic cooperation.
Ambassador Emmanuel Lenain, the French envoy to India, expressed great anticipation for the visit, highlighting the potential for “maximum impact and maximum outcomes” for both nations. He emphasized that India’s “Make in India” initiative will be prioritized, extending beyond mere manufacturing to encompass “co-development.”
Media reports suggest that defense cooperation will feature prominently on the agenda. Discussions are expected to cover significant defense contracts, trade cooperation, and the naval version of Dassault Aviation’s Rafale fighter jets. India’s potential acquisition of the Rafale-M (Marine) fighter jets, capable of operating from the flight deck of INS Vikrant, is of particular interest.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to France represents a crucial step towards deepening the strategic partnership between India and France. By focusing on various areas of collaboration, the visit is poised to yield substantial outcomes, cementing the bond between the two nations and paving the way for a prosperous future.