PM Modi is the first leader President Macron meets after re-election

Updated on May 03, 2022 03:16 PM IST

Even though Modi has a short halt at Paris while enroute to India, the visit is expected to yield significant results with Macron expected to make a substantial visit to India soon to carry forward the implementation of strategic ideas discussed between the two on Wednesday.

The way forward : Prime minister Narendra Modi with French President Emmanuel Macron.
The way forward : Prime minister Narendra Modi with French President Emmanuel Macron.
By, New Delhi

It is an unwritten convention that the French President elect makes his first international trip to neighboring Germany to strengthen the Franco-German alliance and expand the European footprint. Socialist President Francois Hollande jetted off to Berlin to meet then German Chancellor Angela Merkel soon after he was elected President on May 15, 2012. His able successor Emmanuel Macron did the same five years later when he flew down to meet Chancellor Merkel in 2017. But this time there is a slight change in plans though Germany remains a very close partner of France, like the US and its ally UK.

On Wednesday, the first international visitor that President Macron will physically meet after winning the French election on April 24 is none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is winging down from Copenhagen to especially meet his friend at the Elysée Palace for one-to-one dialogue and delegation level talks built around a dinner. PM Modi is expected to be in France for around four to five hours.

Even though PM Modi has a short halt at Paris while enroute to India, the visit is expected to yield significant results with President Macron expected to make a substantial visit to India soon to carry forward the implementation of strategic ideas discussed between the two on Wednesday. The preparations of the visit have already begun in Paris with the agenda of talks being shared through the diplomatic channel. A joint statement of the bilateral meeting is expected to be released after PM Modi’s meeting with President Macron.

Also Read | Modi-Macron meet will take India-France relations to next level

While the on-going brutal war in Ukraine will figure in the discussions between the two leaders, both countries want immediate cessation of violence, and have independently talked to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin about restoring peace in the region. The other important topic for discussion would be the Indo-Pacific with both countries cooperating together to secure the sea lanes of communication from any military leverage being exercised by rising China with unconfirmed reports indicating that China has tested a cruiser warship launched conventional ballistic missile.

India and France have robust defence cooperation with Paris helping the Indian Navy build Scorpene class submarines and supplying 36 Rafale fighter planes to the Indian Air Force. As of now 35 fighters have already been supplied to India with the last one being used to test India specific enhancements and weaponry in France. Fact is that France is willing to not only manufacture Safran aircraft engines in India but also hi-tech air to air and air to surface precision missiles.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Author of Indian Mujahideen: The Enemy Within (2011, Hachette) and Himalayan Face-off: Chinese Assertion and Indian Riposte (2014, Hachette). Awarded K Subrahmanyam Prize for Strategic Studies in 2015 by Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) and the 2011 Ben Gurion Prize by Israel.

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