After Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Paris on Thursday, 13 July, for his two-day visit to France, he PM met Gerard Larcher, President of the French Senate, and subsequently addressed the Indian diaspora at the La Seine Musicale Performing Arts Centre.
Speaking to the Indian community, PM Modi said:
"I have visited France several times but this time my visit is special. Tomorrow is France's National Day. I congratulate the people of France. I thank the people of France for inviting me. Today French PM received me at the airport and tomorrow I will attend the National Day parade with my friend Emmanuel Macron. This is a reflection of the unbreakable friendship between India and France."
"Today the world is moving towards the new world order. India's role is changing rapidly. India is currently chairing the G20 and the entire G20 group is seeing India's potential," he added.
Modi is on a visit to France on 13 and 14 July, after which he will make a day-long stop in the UAE.
Top Points From Modi's Diaspora Address
"Hundreds of years ago, Indian soldiers protecting the pride of France, were martyred on French soil while performing their duty. Punjab Regiment, one of the regiments that took part in the war here, is going to participate in the National Day Parade tomorrow."
"Tamil is the oldest language in the world. What could be a matter of bigger pride that the world's oldest language is Indian: PM Narendra Modi."
"People-to-people connect is the strongest foundation of the India-France partnership. The partnership between India & France is being strengthened by the people of India & France. The trust people of both countries share is resemblance of this...Here in France, 'Namaste India' is celebrated & in India, we celebrate 'Bonjour India'..."
"India has resolved that it will not let any opportunity slip, nor will it let a moment go to waste. I have resolved that every second of my time is for the people of the country."
"Reverse counting of launching Chandranyaan has started in India. After some hours, we will launch the historic Chandrayaan-3 from Sriharikota."
"India and France have agreed to use UPI in France. In the coming days, it will begin from the Eiffel Tower which means Indian tourists will now be able to pay in rupees."
"India is working towards becoming a developed country in the next 25 years...International agencies say that India is a bright spot...India has a lot of potential for investments. Indian government is committed to providing facilities & safety to all Indians who are settled abroad...whether it's Ukraine or Sudan, Afghanistan, or Iraq, we have always come forward to protect our countrymen. Indian settled abroad are equally important to us like the citizens of India."
"French football player Kylian Mbappe is superhit among the youth in India. Mbappe is probably known to more people in India than in France."
PM Modi's Arrival in Paris
Upon landing, the Prime Minister received a ceremonial welcome at Paris' Orly Airport and he was received by French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne. The two leaders subsequently "reviewed various facets of India-France partnership as well as discussed measures to further strengthen the ties between both the countries."
With Senate President Larcher, Modi underlined how shared values of democracy, freedom and equality form foundational ethos of - partnership.
The discussions ranged from India's G20 priorities, democratic values in technology usage, cooperation between the two Upper Houses as well as regional and global issues.
French President Emmanuel Macron invited the prime minister as a Guest of Honour at the Bastille Day Parade in Paris and Modi will attend the annual Bastille Day parade on 14 July, featuring 269 members from the Indian tri-service.
Along with other French jets, three Indian Air Force (IAF) Rafale fighter jets will participate in the flypast during the event.
The Prime Minister took to Twitter to share an official statement about his trip, where he mentioned that he would also be interacting with the Indian community in France.
PM Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron will engage in discussions to advance cooperation across various crucial domains, such as defence, space, trade, and investment.
His schedule for the day will end with a private dinner at the Elysee Palace hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron.
The Agenda of Modi's Visit
The visit is set to witness the signing of technology transfer agreements and attempts to co-develop next-generation equipment, including developing the next-generation fighter jet engine in collaboration with French firm SAFRAN.
Moreover, experts say that Paris has plans for joint exports of weapon systems and continued partnership in meeting India's submarine requirements with Naval Group, a French defence manufacturer.
While India has successfully imported Rafale Multi-Role Combat Aircrafts into the Indian Air Force, it has also been reported that India is close to acquiring the Rafale-M (Marine) fighter jets which can operate from the flight deck of INS Vikrant. The induction in the Navy would provide synergies in training, maintenance, and repair.
The partnership between France and India extends to the Indian Ocean Region, with a shared vision which claims to further freedom of navigation, the rule of law, and the law of the sea by pursuing avenues of collaboration that include joint patrolling, information sharing, and sustainable development projects.
Modi's two-day visit is also expected to emphasise the strategic partnership between the countries in terms of setting ambitious objectives in areas of strategic collaboration, scientific advancements, cultural exchange, and economic cooperation.
As per media reports, defence cooperation could be one of the major points on the agenda including. The discussions are expected to include large defence contracts, cooperation in trade and a new course for bilateral ties alongside talks for the naval version of Dassault Aviation’s Rafale fighter jets.