French President Emmanuel Macron, who is on a four-day visit to India met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Hyderabad House this morning and said that he wants France to become India’s best partner in Europe. Later in the day, the two leaders issued a joint statement. Macron arrived in India on Friday night along with his wife Brigitte Marie-Claude Macron and senior ministers of his cabinet. He was received by PM Narendra Modi at the Delhi airport with a trademark Modi hug. The French President’s visit is aimed at strengthening ties between India and France in the areas of maritime security and counter-terrorism. The two countries are also expected to sign an agreement on the Jaitapur nuclear power plant.
“France has particularly supported India’s perspective on terror in South Asia. We are seeing convergence in new areas, particularly maritime security, counter-terrorism and renewable energy,” Joint Secretary (Europe-west)K Nagraj Naidu told media. Apart from above, the country would also be trying to boost cooperation in the areas of nuclear energy and space. “In the area of space, India and France have a matured engagement and we would like to take it to a new level,” Naidu said.
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His official engagements began at 9 AM on Saturday morning following a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. He visited Raj Ghat and met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during the day. Later in the day, Mr Macron will hold a bilateral with PM Modi followed by delegation level talks and inking of several agreements. In the evening, President Ram Nath Kovind will host a dinner for him and 24 other leaders attending a conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA). Last French President to visit India was Francois Hollande who was the chief guest the Republic day celebrations in January 2016.
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