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French Senate Chairman visits India to boost bilateral relations

Gérard Larcher, Chairman of the French Senate (Photo: @gerard_larcher)

Gerard Larcher, Chairman of the French Senate, is on an official visit to India on February 19 and 20, 2024, accompanied by a delegation of five senators, the French Embassy in India said.

The visit aims to strengthen bilateral ties and parliamentary cooperation between France and India.

“Larcher is accompanied by a delegation of five other senators who are members of the Senate’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee or the France-India Friendship Group. This will mark the first official visit to India of a Chairman of the French Senate, the Upper House of France’s Parliament,” according to the official press release.

‘Larcher and his delegation will meet with Jagdeep Dhankhar, Vice President of India and Chairman of Rajya Sabha,’ the release added.

According to the official release, ‘the French Senate chairman and his senators will discuss ways to increase cooperation and mutual understanding between the French Senate and India’s Parliament, including through a dedicated agreement. Larcher will also be given a guided tour of the new Parliament building.’

The Chairman of the French Senate will call on the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi.

Larcher had previously met Prime Minister Modi during the latter’s visit to Paris on July 14, 2023, when the Prime Minister was received at the French Senate by Larcher and leaders of all major parliamentary groups.

The chairman of the French Senate will also meet the External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar, to discuss the current dynamic in bilateral relations and gain a better understanding of India’s growing geopolitical role.

During his visit, Larcher will meet with business leaders of French companies present in India, particularly in the aerospace and defence sectors, and visit sites of French companies making key contributions to “Make in India” and “Skill India.”

The Senate is the Upper House of the Parliament of the French Republic. Its 358 members – or Senators – are elected through indirect universal suffrage for a term of six years. As a legislative assembly, the Senate votes the laws stemming from government or parliamentary initiative.

The Chairman of the Senate ensures the stability of France’s institutions as he is called upon to replace the President of the Republic in the event of death or resignation. The Chairman is elected for a three-year term after each renewal of the Senate membership. Gerard Larcher has been the Chairman of the Senate since October 2014, a post he also earlier held from 2008 to 2011.