The Paris-Delhi bonding is set to scale another frontier when French President Francois Hollande visits India as the guest of honour at the Republic Day celebrations in January 2016, a special honour conferred only on close strategic partners of India. Mr Hollande will be the fourth French president to attend India’s Republic Day celebrations as chief guest.
The choice of Mr Hollande as chief guest underlines the burgeoning strategic and economic partnership between the two countries, with Paris poised to play a pivotal role in the Make in India mission and bolstering the country’s civil nuclear energy infrastructure.
“The President of the French Republic will travel to India on 26th January on a State Visit, where he will be the Chief Guest of Republic Day celebrations. This invitation conveys the excellent quality and dynamism of the strategic partnership between India and France, which will be further strengthened on this occasion,” said a statement from the Office of French President.
In January 2015, Barack Obama became the first US president to be invited as the guest of honour at the Republic Day celebrations.
Ahead of the visit, France has lauded India’s decisive role in clinching a global climate summit pact, signifying the changed climate in India-France relations. The just concluded global climate change summit in Paris witnessed a historic agreement being reached by 196 countries to curb greenhouse gas emissions. “This visit will also follow on from the Paris Climate Conference, at which India played a decisive role in reaching an ambitious agreement,” said the statement from the French president’s office.
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