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French President Macron receives ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan

French President Macron receives ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan

French President Macron receives ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan

He was warmly received by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the airport. "We want our (India and France) youth to know each other's countries, understand and work so that thousands of ambassadors are ready for our relations and in this direction we have signed two agreements today", he said.

"The history of bilateral cooperation between India and France is very long in terms of defence, security, space and high technology. I am happy that I have got an opportunity to welcome you in India", Modi said at the start of his speech Saturday.

"From the ground to the sky, there is no subject on which India and France are not working together", said Modi.

Earlier in the day, Macron talked about his personal rapport with Modi which was established after their meeting in Paris previous year.

Two of the most important agreements between France and India according to him are education qualifications, and the second is migration and mobility partnership.

The 40-year-old president, who is travelling with a delegation of French companies that includes EDF (EDF.PA), Dassault Aviation (AVMD.PA), Schneider Electric (SCHN.PA) and Suez (SEVI.PA), will also inaugurate a solar plant built by Engie (ENGIE.PA) in Uttar Pradesh.

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"The third objective of this visit is to deliver the message that France should be the best partner for India, especially in Europe, the entry point for Europe". Officials said the issue was also raised by French Defence Minister Florence Parly during a meeting with her Indian counterpart Nirmala Sitharaman.

PM Modi and President Macron will also co-chair the founding conference of the India-initiated ISA (International Solar Alliance) on Sunday.

At the Rashtrapati Bhawan, President Macron met with his counterpart, President Ram Nath Kovind, his wife Savita Kovind, and Prime Minister Modi.

The visit aims at strengthening bilateral economic, political and strategic dimensions of engagement between the nations.

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.

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