French President Emmanuel Macron being invited as the Chief Guest for India’s Republic Day celebrations in 2024:
Republic Day Invite: India extended an invitation to French President Emmanuel Macron to attend the Republic Day celebrations on January 26, 2024, as the Chief Guest. This invitation marks the sixth occasion that a French leader has been invited to grace India’s Republic Day celebrations in the national capital.
Historical Significance: The history of the event includes the presence of former French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac and former Presidents Valery Giscard d’Estaing, Nicolas Sarkozy, and Francois Hollande on different Republic Day celebrations.
Bilateral Visits: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to France in July coincided with the Bastille Day Parade. The visit commemorated the 25th anniversary of the strategic partnership between India and France. During the celebrations, a 241-member tri-service Indian armed forces contingent participated, led by a military band. The parade showcased the unity and strength of the partnership between the two nations.
Military Participation: The Indian Army contingent, including the Punjab Regiment and the Rajputana Rifles Regiment, along with Indian Air Force Rafale fighters, actively participated in the parade, displaying India’s military strength and the strong alliance between India and France.
Macron’s Visit to India: French President Macron reciprocated the visit by coming to India in September to attend the G20 Summit, held under India’s Presidency. During his visit, he engaged in bilateral discussions with Prime Minister Modi, emphasizing the commitment to elevate the India-France relationship to greater heights. They focused on enhancing defense cooperation, including joint endeavours in designing and expanding production in India. Both leaders also emphasized the importance of finalizing the Defense Industrial Roadmap.