Paris: Ahead of the French National Day celebrations, President Immanuel Macron on Friday extended a warm welcome to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, w ho will be the Guest of Honour at the Bastille Day Parade.
Earlier, PM Modi also thanked French President Emmanuel Macron and France’s First Lady Brigitte Macron for hosting him at the Elysee Palace. During the private dinner, Emmanuel Macron bestowed the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday. It is the highest French honour in military or civilian orders. With this PM Modi becomes the first Indian PM to receive this honour.
“India and France are celebrating 25 years of strategic partnership made of trust and friendship, which are only getting stronger with time. Dear @NarendraModi, welcome to Paris.” Macron tweeted.
PM Modi arrived in Paris on Thursday to a ceremonial welcome. He was received by his France counterpart Elisabeth Borne and later addressed the Indian diaspora in the France capital.
The Bastille Day Parade is the highlight of celebrations of the day that marks the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille prision, an ancient royal fortress in 1789 during the French Revolution.
This year the Bastille Day Parade will have about 6,300 soldiers in various marching contingents. This includes a tri-services contingent of the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force. The Indian Army is being represented by the Punjab Regiment. The troops of the Regiment have participated in both World Wars, having been awarded 18 Battle and Theatre Honours in the first war.
Prior to arriving for the dinner at Elysee Palace, PM Modi interacted with the Indian community in Paris, where he highlighted the multifaceted linkages between India and France. He spoke about India’s development in various sectors and invited diaspora members to invest in India. He also held meeting with his French counterpart Elisabeth Borne, with the discussion on furthering cooperation in various areas, including economy,trade, energy, environment, education, mobility, digital public infrastructure and people-to-people ties. PM modi also met French Senate President Gerard Larcher on Thursday.
The two-day official visit is special because this year also marks the 25th anniversary of the strategic partnership between the two countries.