On Friday morning, 14 July, Prime Minister Modi arrived to attend the annual Bastille Day military parade at Champs-Elysees, Paris. Subsequently, he addressed a joint press conference alongside French President Emmanuel Macron.
"We are making a roadmap for the next 25 years on the basis of the strong foundation of the previous 25 years. Bold and ambitious goals are being set for this," Modi said.
"People of India have taken the resolve to make ourselves a developed nation. In this journey, we see France as a natural partner," he added.
Modi also attended the Bastille Day parade in Paris and is held talks with Indian and French CEOs at a business forum before jetting off to the UAE.
"Defence ties have always been the basic foundation of our relations. This is a symbol of the deep trust between the two nations. France is an important partner in Make in India and Aatmanirbhar Bharat...Be it submarines or Indian Naval ships, together we want to fulfill not just ours but also the requirements of other friendly countries."Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Top Points From Modi-Macron Press Conference
Here's what President Emmanuel Macron said at the joint press conference in Paris
“2030 we want"...We can't forget the youth...By 2030, we want to send 30,000 French students there (to India)...For the young Indians who want to pursue higher education in France, we want to make a conducive visa policy": President Emmanuel Macron
"...I was proud to see the Punjab Regiment here in the heart of Paris (at the Bastille Day parade). We are going ahead on the basis of a historic trust. Together we can find solutions for global crises...": President Emmanuel Macron
Meanwhile, PM Modi laid emphasis on bilateral ties and made the following comments
"Yesterday French President Emmanuel Macron conferred me with the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour, the highest award in France. It is not my honour but the honour of 140 crore people of the country": PM Narendra Modi
"I welcome the long-term agreement between Indian Oil and France's Total company to export Liquefied natural gas (LNG), it will help in achieving our target of clean energy transition"
"Today, on the successful launch of Chandrayaan 3, the entire India is excited. This is a major achievement of our scientists. In the arena of Space, India and France have had an old and deep cooperation. There have been new agreements between our Space agencies...We can enhance our cooperation in areas like Space-based Maritime Domain Awareness."
"We will open a new Indian Consulate in the city of Marseille. We welcome the decision to grant long-term visas to people of Indian origin studying in France. I invite French universities to set up their campuses in India... Indian athletes are excited to participate in next year's Paris Olympics."
Highlights of the Bastille Day Parade
The Indian tri-services contingent, consisting of 269 members, proudly marched to the resounding tune of 'Saare jahan se achcha' as they participated in the grand parade and took part in the flypast. Modi saluted the contingent as it passed by the dais where he, along with Macron and other dignitaries, were seated.
Macron, who made a grand entrance at the venue, riding in an open vehicle accompanied by soldiers on horses, jeeps, and bikes, all marching alongside him, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi embraced warmly upon their meeting at the venue
Check out some of the best images from the parade:
As the iconic Champs-Elysees boulevard was adorned with the vibrant colors of the French flag, Modi was welcomed to the Bastille Day Parade in Paris.
Accompanied by French First Lady Brigitte Macron and France's Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne, Modi was welcomed to the Bastille Day Parade where notably, a contingent from the Indian armed forces participated and three Indian Air Force Rafale fighter jets also took part in the flypast over the Champs-Elysees in Paris.
The Indian Army's Punjab Regiment also marched along the Champs-Élysées during the Bastille Day parade in Paris.
Awarded Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour
According to an official statement, French President Emmanuel Macron has conferred PM Modi the highest honour in France, the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour. The Legion of Honor is rewarded for "outstanding merit acquired in the service of the nation in a civilian or military capacity,” stated the official website.
As per the award criteria, “Foreigners may be decorated with the Legion of Honor if they have rendered services (e.g. cultural or economic) to France or supported causes defended by France... State visits are also an occasion for conferring the Legion of Honor upon official figures, pursuant to diplomatic reciprocity and thereby supporting France's foreign policy.”
The award is “A warm gesture embodying the spirit of Indo-French partnership,” the Ministry Of External Affairs (MEA) wrote on Twitter. He became the first Indian Prime Minister to receive this highly regarded recognition.
Modi's Diaspora Address
At La Seine Musicale, Paris Modi addressed an audience of hundreds of Indians on Thursday evening, 13 July, where he said that "people-to-people connect is the strongest foundation of the India-France partnership."
He further addressed the Indian diaspora and announced that an agreement has been made for the use of India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI), which starts from the Eiffel Tower, France.
Modi also announced that France has decided on granting five-year-long post-study work visas for Indian students doing masters in the European country.
He further said, "India and France are tackling many challenges of the 21st century. Therefore, at this crucial time, the importance of the strategic partnership between our countries has increased even more.”
PM Modi arrived at Elysee Palace for a private dinner, on 13 July. He was invited by Emmanuel Macron and First Lady Brigitte Macron.
"Had productive exchanges on ways to deepen India-France cooperation across diverse sectors," He tweeted in French. He also met Prime Minister of France, Elisabeth Borne and discussed “ways to deepen cooperation in areas such as commerce, infrastructure building, energy, culture and more,” he added.