In a significant diplomatic move, the Government of India (GoI) has formally extended an invitation to French President Emmanuel Macron to be the Chief Guest at the 2024 Republic Day celebrations. This high-profile gesture underscores the growing camaraderie and mutual trust between the two countries, marking the sixth occasion on which a French leader has been accorded this prestigious role at the Kartavya Path on January 26.
PM Modi’s G20 Diplomacy
French President Emmanuel Macron is set to attend the Republic Day celebrations in 2024 as the Chief Guest on January 26, 2024. Initially, India had extended an invitation to U.S. President Joe Biden to attend the event, but due to ongoing election matters and the Israel-Hamas conflict, he couldn’t travel to India in January. In September, US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti revealed that PM Modi had invited Biden to be the Chief Guest on January 26, 2024. However, given the constraints, the Quad Summit, initially planned for early January, will be postponed to later in the year when President Biden is able to visit India.
Why the Quad Summit Delayed
The delay in the Quad Summit is attributed to the unavailability of U.S. President Joe Biden in early January due to election-related commitments. The revised plan aims to hold the summit in India later in 2024, aligning with the schedules of Quad partners.
Significance of Republic Day Celebrations
Republic Day celebrations hold special significance as they commemorate the moment in 1950 when India formally adopted its Constitution, solidifying the country’s independence. The invitation to President Macron reflects the enduring and deepening ties between India and France.
PM Modi-Macron Meeting
The invitation to President Macron follows a recent meeting between him and Prime Minister Modi during the Bastille Day celebrations in France. PM Modi, as the Guest of Honour, participated in the occasion, marking the 25th anniversary of the strategic partnership between the two nations. A tri-service Indian military contingent led by the Punjab Regiment showcased their patriotic spirit during the event.
Macron’s India Visit
President Macron’s visit to India in September, coinciding with the G20 Summit hosted by India, further strengthened bilateral relations. An effective bilateral meeting between Macron and PM Modi emphasized their commitment to elevating India-France relations to new heights.
President Macron adds to the distinguished list of French leaders who have graced India’s Republic Day celebrations as Chief Guests. Notable leaders include former French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac and former Presidents Valery Giscard d’Estaing, Nicolas Sarkozy, and Francois Hollande.
India and France’s collaboration spans various sectors, including defense, space, civil nuclear, trade, investment, education, culture, and people-to-people ties. This multifaceted partnership reflects the depth and breadth of the relationship between the two nations.
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