New Delhi: French President Emmanuel Macron joined India in celebrating its 75th Republic Day on January 26, 2024, as the chief guest of the grand parade and ceremony at Rajpath. He expressed his gratitude and admiration for India’s democracy, culture, and diversity, and hailed the strong strategic partnership between the two nations.
“It is a great honor for France to be part of this celebration of India’s sovereignty and constitution. Thank you, India for your friendship and trust,” Macron tweeted from his official account on OfficialX (formerly Twitter), after witnessing the spectacular display of India’s military and cultural prowess.
Macron, who arrived in India on January 25, was accompanied by a high-level delegation, including ministers, business leaders, and astronaut Thomas Pesquet. He also brought along a contingent of French armed forces, comprising a marching team and a band group, who participated in the Republic Day parade and flypast alongside their Indian counterparts. This was the sixth time that a French leader attended the Republic Day event as the chief guest, the highest of any other nation.
Macron’s visit marked the consolidation of the ambitious renewal of the France-India strategic partnership that he and Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided on in Paris on July 14, 2023, through the “Horizon 2047 Roadmap”. The roadmap outlines the common goals and initiatives for the next 25 years under three pillars: partnership for security and sovereignty, partnership for the planet, and partnership for prosperity and innovation.
During his visit, Macron held extensive talks with Modi on various bilateral, regional, and global issues, including defense, space, climate change, trade, investment, education, culture, and people-to-people ties. The two leaders also witnessed the signing of several agreements and memoranda of understanding in various fields, such as civil aviation, renewable energy, urban development, and health.
Macron also visited some historic and cultural sites in India, such as the Amber Fort and the Jantar Mantar in Jaipur, the Nizamuddin Dargah and the National Museum in Delhi, and the Taj Mahal in Agra. He interacted with students, artists, entrepreneurs, and civil society representatives, and shared his vision for a more inclusive, sustainable, and digital world.
Macron’s visit reaffirmed the deep and enduring friendship between France and India, two of the world’s largest democracies and key partners in the Indo-Pacific region. It also showcased the shared commitment of the two nations to uphold the values of liberty, equality and fraternity, and to work together for a better future for humanity.