NEW DELHI, Dec 22: The French President Emmanuel Macron will be the chief guest at the 2024 Republic Day parade. Official sources on Friday said the French president had been invited for the next year’s Republic Day parade and soon afterwards the French President’s office confirmed that Mr Macron would attend the Republic Day celebration in New Delhi.
Mr Macron would be the sixth French leader to grace the prestigious occasion. India had earlier invited the US president Joe Biden to grace the Republic Day parade but he expressed inability to travel to New Delhi in January.
New Delhi’s invitation to Mr Macron for the Republic Day celebrations comes amid a rapid upswing in ties between the two countries including in areas of defence and security, clean energy, trade and investment and new technologies. In July, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi had attended the French National Day celebrations the “Bastille Day Parade” as the guest of honour.
In the same month, the defence ministry had approved the purchase of 26 Rafale (marine) jets from France primarily for deployment on board the indigenously built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant. France has already responded to India’s initial tender for buying the jets.
The two sides are also expanding cooperation in the maritime domain including in the Indian Ocean Region. The two strategic partners also expressed commitment to cooperate in the co-development and co-production of advanced defence technologies, including for the benefit of third countries.