French President Emmanuel Macron receives ceremonial welcomes at Rashtrapati Bhavan

Lynette Rowe
March 11, 2018

The first day of the French president's visit was quite productive, as he also signed 14 MoUs with India, which included agreements on issues related migration, railways, the environment and so on.

The Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) was also revealed to be co-chaired by President Macron along with Prime Minister Modi. "PM Narendra Modi welcomes President of France Emmanuel Macron at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi ahead of the bilateral talks", MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted along with pictures of the two leaders. Macron, who arrived in India last night on a four-day visit, further said India and France have chose to work together to deal with threats of terrorism and radicalisation. During the delegation-level talks, both leaders were expected to review the progress so far in India-France bilateral relations and exchange their views on regional and global issues of mutual interest for both nations.

Earlier in the day, Macron talked about his personal rapport with Modi which was established after their meeting in Paris a year ago.

Trade between India and France in 2016-17 touched $10.95 billion (€8.9 billion), with France listed as the ninth largest foreign investor in India with a cumulative investment of over $6 billion (€4.87 billion) from April 2000 to October 2017, according to Indian government figures. We can say this is going to be a new start of a good friendship.

After the little press conference addressed by the two leaders, Macron moved to attend the Knowledge Summit, attended by more than 200 academicians from both sides and addressed the Indian youth, who are the future of not just India but the world.

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On Monday, he heads to the chaotic Hindu holy city of Varanasi on the banks of the river Ganges, which the Indian premier has promised to modernise and clean up.

India already has a rocket capable of putting a four-ton class crew module in space using the Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle MK III and a rudimentary crew module has already been tested in 2014.

But Mr Trudeau's visit hit a series of embarrassing bumps and he received a fairly cool reception during his stay in India.

And there were red faces when it emerged that a former Sikh militant was invited to a dinner with him in Mumbai.

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