French President Emmanuel Macron Arrives In India, PM Modi Greets With Trademark Bear Hug

| March 10 , 2018 , 10:37 IST

French President Emmanuel Macron reached India for a four-day bilateral visit on Friday along with his wife Brigitte Marie-Claude Macron and his senior cabinet ministers. Breaking the protocol, PM reached to receive the French President and greeted him with his trademark bear hug.

After the French President de-boarded his plane at AFS Palam in Delhi, he was given a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The foreign ministry confirmed that the visit is aimed at strengthening the bilateral economic, political and strategic dimension of our engagement.

President Macron said at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, "I think we (India and France) have very good chemistry. Our two great democracies have a historic relationship." He will hold a bilateral with PM Modi at noon, followed by delegation-level talks and signing of various deals.

Among the various deals, agreements on civil nuclear cooperation, solar energy and transfer of electric mobility for Indian Railways and metro lines linked to smart city projects for the cities like Pune and Nagpur are expected to be signed during the French President's visit.

Stepping up cooperation in the Indian Ocean region will also be one of the top issues that will be discussed by Macron and Modi during delegation-level talks on Saturday. Macron will interact with students from across the country in a town hall meeting organised today in Delhi.

Tomorrow, President Macron will attend the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Summit, an initiative mooted by France and India. Heads of several states and governments is likely attend the summit which is focus on concrete projects.

Macron is also scheduled to visit Taj Mahal on Sunday, followed by visiting the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Modi Varanasi on March 12. He, along with Modi, will inaugurate a solar plant in Uttar Pradesh's Mirzapur.