Diplomatic advisor set stage for Macron’s R-Day visit

French President Emmanuel Macron’s Diplomatic Advisor Emmanuel Bonne holds talks with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar

The stage is set for French President Emmanuel Macron’s forthcoming state visit to India with his Diplomatic Advisor Emmanuel Bonne holding a series of preparatory meetings in New Delhi last week. He met External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday. Their discussions, centered around bilateral issues and mutual global concerns, emboldens the growing strength of the partnership between the two countries. “Glad to meet Emmanuel Bonne, Diplomatic Advisor to President of France. Spoke about strong India-France convergence on multiple issues. Also shared perspectives on global developments of mutual concern.

Look forward to President @EmmanuelMacron’s State visit for #RepublicDay2024,” EAM Jaishankar posted on social media platform X. The French President’s Diplomatic Advisor also met with India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during his stay in New Delhi. These discussions, serving as a precursor to President Macron’s visit, underscored the depth of preparation and collaboration between the two countries. The talks aimed not only to lay the groundwork for the Republic Day event but also to deepen the comprehensive partnership between France and India. Key aspects of this bilateral relationship were explored, focusing on advanced technologies and the global commons of cyber, maritime, and space. France enjoys a distinguished status in its relationship with India, notably being the most frequently invited country to India’s Republic Day parade.

The tradition began in 1976 with an invitation to then-French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac and continued with visits from other prominent French leaders, including Presidents Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy, and François Hollande.

The significance of President Macron’s attendance goes beyond ceremonial importance. The year 2023 marked the silver jubilee of the India-France Strategic Partnership. This milestone was celebrated earlier last year during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to France, where a detailed roadmap outlining the next 25 years of cooperation was unveiled.

This ambitious plan includes joint initiatives in strengthening India’s submarine fleet, French assistance in developing the “Shakti Engine,” and collaborative efforts in the Indo-Pacific region. The context of President Macron’s visit is further enriched by the recent defence agreement between India and France, involving India’s acquisition of 26 Rafale (marine) fighter jets from France, primarily for use on the indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant. Additionally, both countries are deepening their maritime security collaboration, especially in the Indian Ocean Region, and are committed to jointly developing and producing cutting-edge defense technologies, potentially benefiting third countries. President Macron’s visit is a strategic pinpoint to further the India-France partnership. This partnership is further reinforced by their collaborative efforts across various domains, including defense, security, civilian nuclear cooperation, and emerging technologies.

The visit is expected to be marked by the unveiling of significant bilateral agreements. India and France share a high degree of convergence on a range of regional and global issues as strategic partners. Notably, this is the sixth time a French leader will be the chief guest at Republic Day celebrations here in the national capital. Before Macron, former French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac was the Chief guest on India’s Republic Day celebrations in 1976 and 1998, as were former Presidents Valery Giscard d’Estaing, Nicolas Sarkozy, and Francois Hollande in the years 1980, 2008 and 2016, respectively.

Made in India weapons to be showcased

Made-in-India weapon systems and platforms would be the main attraction in this year’s Republic Day parade from the Indian Army including the LCH Prachand chopper, Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launchers and Nag anti-tank missiles. The LCH Prachand is the first indigenous Multi-Role Combat Helicopter designed and manufactured by HAL. It has potent ground attack and aerial combat capability. The helicopter possesses modern stealth characteristics, robust armour protection and formidable night attack capability. Onboard advanced navigation system, guns tailored for close combat and potent air to air missiles make the LCH especially suited for the modern battlefield. NAG has been developed by DRDO to engage highly fortified enemy tanks in day and night conditions. The missile has “Fire & Forget” “Top Attack” capabilities with passive homing guidance to defeat all MBTs equipped with composite and reactive armour. The NAG missile carrier NAMICA is a BMP II based system with amphibious capability. The latest armoured vehicles and specialist vehicles produced by the Indian industry indigenously are also going to be showcased at the parade where French President Emmanuel Macron will be the chief guest, Army officials said.

The Quick Fighting Reaction Vehicle, Light Specialist Vehicle and the All Terrain Vehicle would be marching on the Kartavya Path this year. The weapon systems would also include the T-90 tank, BMP-2 infantry combat vehicle, c, Drone jammers, Advanced Sarvatra bridge, Medium Range Surface to Air Missile launcher and multi-function radar, they said. Swathi Weapon Locating Radar, is an indigenously designed WLR which is capable of locating guns, mortars and rockets firing own troops, thereby facilitating their destruction through Counter Bombardment by own firepower resources. This will enable troops to carry out their operational tasks without any interference from the enemy and also provide them safety against enemy fire.

ALSO READ-India Strongly Protests UK Envoy’s PoK Visit

[soliloquy id="31272"]
[soliloquy id="31269"]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *