• | 1:30 pm

French President Macron likely to be Republic Day chief guest

If confirmed, Macron will be the sixth French leader to grace India's Republic Day parade

French President Macron likely to be Republic Day chief guest
[Source photo: Chetan Jha/Press Insider]

French President Emmanuel Macron is slated to be the chief guest for the Republic Day celebrations on 26 January, Indian media reported. 

The government has extended an invite to Macron, news agency Press Trust of India reported, citing unidentified people aware of the development.

The government had earlier invited US President Joe Biden, who expressed his inability to visit New Delhi in January.

The Republic Day celebrations traditionally include a foreign leader as chief guest. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi was the chief guest at this year’s parade. No chief guest was invited in 2021 and 2022 due to the covid pandemic. 

If confirmed, Macron will be the sixth French leader to grace India’s Republic Day parade. Former French premier Jacques Chirac had the honor of attending the annual event twice in 1976 and 1998. Other French presidents, including Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, Nicolas Sarkozy, and François Hollande, participated in the celebrations in 1980, 2008, and 2016, respectively.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited France in July and attended the Bastille Day celebrations in Paris as guest of honor. The Bastille Day is celebrated as the French National Day to commemorate the storming of the Bastille prison during the French Revolution in 1789.

Macron last visited India for the G20 Summit in September and also held bilateral talks with Modi. Prior to that, Macron had visited India in 2018 for the founding of the International Solar Alliance.

India and France have traditionally been close allies. In 1998, the two countries entered into a strategic partnership, which showed their close and growing bilateral relationship.

Besides traditional cooperation in defense and security, India and France are increasingly engaged in new areas such as security in the Indian Ocean region, climate change, and sustainable growth and development, among others. 

In the past few years, Modi and Macron have built a rapport that reflects the strengthening ties between the two nations.

More Top Stories: