Ahead of Macron-Modi's UP visit, CM checks preparations

Will French president's India-visit be significant for India?

Macron and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi - addressing a news conference in New Delhi after signing the agreements - also committed to strengthening their partnership on defence andsecurity. He was received by PM Narendra Modi at the Delhi airport with a trademark Modi hug. President Macron and his wife will also visit the Taj Mahal.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday said that France should be the best partner for India and the entry point to Europe.

The President said that India commends France's efforts in the global fight against climate change. He further asserted that India's connection France is a "long standing one".

Modi, speaking in Hindi as usual, said, "India and France have always had good ties with African nations, which gives us another opportunity to come closer".

India and France will also develop a wider dialogue on space situational awareness.

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.

A so-called "Industrial Way Forward Agreement" was signed between French utility EDF and India's NPCIL for the construction of six nuclear reactors at Jaitapur.

As PM Modi and President Macron met, the French presidency said in a statement that French and Indian companies today signed contracts worth 13 billion ($16 billion).

The pacts included reciprocal logistic support between the armed forces of the two countries and another on protection of classified or protected information, an agreement that comes in the backdrop of the Indian government refusing to divulge details of the multi-billion dollar Indo-French Rafale fighter jet deal.

Speaking to media after being accorded a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Macron said he has three purposes for this visit.

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.

During the visit, the two countries would look to boost ties, especially in the areas of maritime security and counter-terrorism.

Prime Minister Modi and President Macron will co-chair the International Solar Conference (ISA) on Sunday.



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