New Delhi: French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Jaipur on Thursday for his two-day state visit to India, where he is the chief guest for Republic Day. He was warmly received by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rajasthan Chief Minister Bhajan Lal Sharma, and Governor Kalraj Mishra at the Jaipur airport.
The leaders kicked off the day with a roadshow in the Pink City, starting from Jantar Mantar and passing through Sanganeri Gate with a stopover at Hawa Mahal. Macron, accompanied by PM Modi, visited Amer Fort with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Diya Kumari.
Jantar Mantar, a World Heritage Site, holds historical significance for the French, as two Jesuit astronomers from Chandannagar, under French control in 1734, were invited by Sawai Jai Singh, the founder of Jaipur. The observatory, housing 19 astronomical instruments, is the world’s largest and features the largest stone sundial.
A photo opportunity is planned at Hawa Mahal, with visits to a handicraft shop and a tea shop on the agenda. The leaders will also visit the Albert Hall Museum before concluding the day with a private dinner hosted by PM Modi at Rambagh Palace.
Macron will then head to Delhi for the Republic Day parade at Kartavya Path, where the French Army will participate. This visit marks the 25th anniversary of the strategic partnership between India and France, with anticipated announcements in defence and strategic sectors.
In Delhi, Macron will visit the French Embassy, attend the ‘At Home’ function at Rashtrapati Bhavan, and participate in an official banquet dinner. The invitation to Macron for Republic Day celebrations reflects the growing ties between the two nations, particularly in defence, security, clean energy, trade, and technology.
Accompanied by a delegation of ministers, CEOs, and cultural and scientific personalities, Macron’s visit emphasizes the commitment of India and France to cooperate in advanced defence technologies, benefiting both nations and third countries. The trip reciprocates PM Modi’s guest of honour status at the Bastille Day parade in Paris last year.