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“Paris mein hardik swagat…”: Emmanuel Macron welcomes PM Modi ahead of Bastille Day Parade

Paris: Ahead of the French National Day celebrations, President Emmanuel Macron on Friday extended a warm welcome to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will be the Guest of Honour at the Bastille Day Parade.
“India and France are celebrating 25 years of strategic partnership made of trust and friendship, which are only getting stronger with time. Dear @NarendraModi, welcome to Paris.” Macron tweeted. He later tweeted the same message in Hindi, saying, "Bharat aur France 25 saal ki Ranneetik saajhedaari tatha vishwas aur dosti ke sadaiv majboot bandhan ka jashn mana rahe hain. Priya Narendra Modi, Paris mein hardik swagat."
PM Modi arrived in Paris on Thursday to a ceremonial welcome. He was recieved by his France counterpart Elisabeth Borne and later addressed the Indian diaspora in the France capital.
An Indian tri-services contingent will be part of the Bastille Day Parade, while three Rafale fighter jets of the Indian Air Force as part of the military contingent, are also set to participate in the Bastille Day flypast over the Champs Elysees, Paris.
The Bastille Day Parade is the highlight of celebrations of the day that marks the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille prison, an ancient royal fortress in 1789 during the French Revolution.
This year the Bastille Day Parade will have about 6,300 soldiers in various marching contingents. This includes a tri-services contingent of the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force. The Indian Army is being represented by the Punjab Regiment. The troops of the Regiment have participated in both World Wars, having been awarded 18 Battle and Theatre Honours in the first war.
The Punjab Regiment participated in an offensive near Neuve Chapelle in France in September 1915 during World War One. The regiment also won 16 Battle Honours and 14 Theatre Honours in the Second World War.
Earlier, PM Modi also thanked French President Emmanuel Macron and France's First Lady Brigitte Macron for hosting him at the Elysee Palace.
Taking to his official Twitter handle, PM Modi stated, "I thank President @EmmanuelMacron and Mrs. Macron for hosting me at the Élysée Palace this evening."
On his arrival at Elysee Palace, Prime Minister Modi was welcomed by French President and First Lady.
During the private dinner, Emmanuel Macron bestowed the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday (local time). It is the highest French honour in military or civilian orders. With this, PM Modi becomes the first Indian PM to receive this honour.
Prior to arriving for the dinner at Elysee Palace, PM Modi interacted with the Indian community in Paris, where he highlighted the multifaceted linkages between India and France. He spoke about India's development in various sectors and invited diaspora members to invest in India.
PM Modi also held a meeting with his French counterpart Elisabeth Borne, with the discussions on furthering cooperation in various areas, including economy, trade, energy, environment, education, mobility, digital public infrastructure and people-to-people ties.
He also met French Senate President Gerard Larcher on Thursday at the Senate building, Palais du Luxembourg in the 6th arrondissement of Paris.
The two-day official visit is special because this year also marks the 25th anniversary of the strategic partnership between the two countries.
PM Modi's visit is expected to herald the next phase in the India-France Strategic Partnership by setting new and ambitious goals for our strategic, cultural, scientific, academic, and economic cooperation, including in a wide range of industries, the official statement read. (ANI)

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