France president Macron lands in India, greeted with trademark Modi hug

France president Macron lands in India, greeted with trademark Modi hug

Javier Howell
March 11, 2018

"India and France have chose to work together to deal with threats of terrorism and radicalisation", Macron said after having talks with Modi.

Modi said that both sides have agreed to strengthen cooperation in ensuring freedom of navigation, overflight as Indian Ocean will play a key role in ensuring regional peace and stability.

Prime Minister Modi also welcomed France to invest in India under the "Make in India" initiative.

He pointed that the meeting of India and France is between two civilizations. The Indo-French agreement on reciprocal logistics support for armed forces came almost two years after India signed a similar pact with the U.S. on use of each other's land, air and naval bases.

The Indian Prime Minister and the French President shall also co-chair the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance, which will take place on Mar 11.

Described as a "golden step" by PM Modi in his joint statement with Macron, the deal will facilitate the French and Indian armed forces to receive logistical support, supplies and services from each other during authorised port visits, joint exercises, joint training, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts.

Another pact provides for a way forward for the implementation of the Jaitapur nuclear power project.

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Mr Modi and Mr Macron are particularly anxious as China extended its military presence by opening a naval base in the eastern African nation of Djibouti past year. "I think our countries have a very good chemistry".

Later in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Macron will hold a bilateral summit after which a number of agreements across multiple sectors are likely to be signed.

"You welcomed me in Paris past year with an open heart and a lot of warmth. I want most of the researchers to come to France and I am happy to be here today", he said. He also invited the researchers to visit France.

On Monday, he heads to the chaotic Hindu holy city of Varanasi on the banks of the river Ganges, which the Indian premier has promised to modernise and clean up.

The last visit of Macron to India was in January 2016, when he was the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations.

Both he and Mr Macron are often compared internationally due to their broadly similar political views, as well as youth and good looks.