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France gears up to welcome PM Modi in Paris as Macron’s Advisor meets NSA Doval

France's Presidential Advisor Emmanuel Bonne with India's National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval in New Delhi on Thursday (Image courtesy: Embassy of France in India)

France’s presidential advisor Emmanuel Bonne flew to New Delhi on Thursday to hold talks with India’s National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Paris next week to attend this year’s Bastille Day Parade as ‘Guest of Honour’ on July 14.

PM Modi’s visit to France follows his highly successful trip to the United States last month, which visibly raised New Delhi’s global profile.

The French Embassy in the Indian capital stated that the two top officials exchanged notes on a long list of topics, including cooperation in the field of defence, energy, space, new technologies and more.

“We’re working on an ambitious agenda for the France-India strategic partnership!” the French Embassy tweeted.

Bonne, who is the Diplomatic Advisor to the French President Emmanuel Macron, was in the Indian capital in the first week of January this year for the 36th edition of the Indo-French Strategic Dialogue, which he co-chairs with NSA Doval.

PM Modi will attend this year’s Bastille Day Parade as ‘Guest of Honour’ on July 14 in Paris – a visit which also marks the 25th anniversary of the India-France Strategic Partnership that was established in 1998.

Macron and PM Modi will also hold extensive bilateral talks a day before the military parade to set new and ambitious goals for strategic, cultural, scientific, academic, and economic cooperation, including in a wide range of industries, between the two countries.

France considers itself an Indo-Pacific resident power and calls its partnership with India as a major pillar of its strategy in the region.

The Macron government believes that, beyond symbols, PM Modi’s visit to Paris also has strong geopolitical significance considering that, since 1947, both countries have always stood by each other in good and bad times.

“And because of this trust, we have built an incredibly ambitious strategic partnership. From defence to the Indo-Pacific, from space to climate, and more: we work together to make our nations stronger, and the world safer,” tweeted the French Embassy in New Delhi recently.

PM Modi France Visit
France remains an important partner as India continues to focus on new avenues of cooperation in the Indo Pacific (File image courtesy: PIB)

A roadmap for the new phase of bilateral relationship is expected to be unveiled by PM Modi and Macron next week as both countries continue to bolster their partnership in strategic areas as varied as submarines, combat aviation, climate change, in particular within the framework of the Indian presidency of the G20.

safran helicopter engine India
French aviation and defence equipment manufacturer Safran Helicopter Engines and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited have signed a workshare agreement for the joint development of the engine intended for the future 13-tonne Indian Multi-Role Helicopter and its naval version Deck Based Multi-Role Helicopter (Image courtesy: Safran)

From the acquisition of 36 Rafale fighter jets to building submarines and developing helicopter engines together, Paris remains keen on expand the relationship to new areas of cooperation while remaining fully committed to the ‘Make in India’ policy championed by New Delhi.

France is also offering Dassault Aviation’s Rafale maritime fighter for carrier operations on India’s first indigenously designed and built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant.

PM Modi’s presence in Paris on July 14, France’s National Day, holds special significance as a 269-member tri-services contingent of the Indian Armed Forces, which left for the French capital on Thursday, will also march alongside their French counterparts at the famous avenue des Champs-Elysees.

The Rafale fighter jets of the Indian Air Force will also form part of the fly past during the parade.

Also Read: India and France move a step closer to make advanced helicopter engines