Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron are set to discuss and strengthen cooperation in several crucial areas during their meeting in Jaipur. This includes defense and security, trade, climate change, clean energy, and the mobility of students and professionals.
Macron's visit holds significance as negotiations are underway to finalize two major defense deals, involving India's procurement of 26 Rafale-M fighter jets and three French-designed Scorpene submarines. Substantial progress has been reported in these negotiations, encompassing price and various technical aspects of the procurement.
The visit is marked by a reciprocal invitation to national day celebrations, highlighting the deep mutual trust and friendship between India and France. President Macron's visit aims to consolidate the renewal of the France-India strategic partnership outlined in the 'Horizon 2047 Roadmap.'
Accompanied by a ministerial delegation and business figures, Macron's talks with PM Modi will focus on advancing cooperation and finalizing initiatives under the roadmap's three pillars. The discussions emphasize trust-based security cooperation, contributing to international peace, especially in the Indo-Pacific region.
People-to-people engagement is a key aspect, with a focus on creating opportunities for Indian students, artists, investors, and tourists. Special initiatives will support President Macron's goal of welcoming 30,000 Indian students to France by 2030. Business ties and cross-investments are also promoted under France's "Make It Iconic" campaign, targeting India as a priority.
During Macron's stay in Jaipur, a road show with Prime Minister Modi is planned, followed by comprehensive talks at the Taj Rambagh Palace. The leaders will visit cultural and historical sites, including Jantar Mantar, Hawa Mahal, and Albert Hall Museum.
Macron is expected to arrive at Jaipur airport at 2:30 pm and depart for Delhi around 8:50 pm. The roadshow starts at 6 pm, with talks scheduled for 7:15 pm. The discussions will cover expanding maritime cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, the situation in the Red Sea, the Hamas-Israel conflict, and the war in Ukraine.
President Macron will depart for New Delhi at 8:50 pm and serve as the Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations on Friday. A French marching contingent, featuring six Indians from the French Foreign Legion, will participate in the parade, along with Rafale fighter jets and an Airbus A330 aircraft. Macron will also attend the 'At Home' reception at Rashtrapati Bhawan and hold a meeting with President Droupadi Murmu at 7:10 pm.
(With Agency Inputs)