French President arrives in India on four-day visit; PM Narendra Modi receives Emmanuel Macron at airport

French President Emmanuel Macron is accompanied by his wife Brigitte Marie-Claude Macron on India visit.

French President arrives in India on four-day visit; PM Narendra Modi receives Emmanuel Macron at airport
Pic courtesy: PTI

New Delhi: French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday arrived in the national capital on a four-day India visit. He was received at the airport by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a special gesture.

Macron was accompanied by his wife Brigitte Marie-Claude Macron, besides senior ministers from his Cabinet.

He will hold delegation-level talks with PM Modi on Saturday and will also take part in a Town Hall and have an interactive session, in which nearly 300 students from different levels and institutions are expected to participate.

Macron will take part in a Knowledge Summit too on Friday which will be attended by more than 200 academicians from both sides.

On March 11, 2018, he will attend the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Summit, an initiative mooted by France and India and then visit Taj Mahal in Agra.

On March 12, President Macron will visit Varanasi, the parliamentary constituency of PM Modi. They will inaugurate a solar plant in Uttar Pradesh's Mirzapur. 

Meanwhile, during French President's visit, the two countries would look to boost ties, especially in the areas of maritime security and counter-terrorism. An agreement on the Jaitapur nuclear power plant, which is being built with French assistance, is expected to be signed during the visit, PTI quoted sources as saying.

Stepping up cooperation in the Indian Ocean region will be one of the top issues that will be discussed by Macron and PM Modi during delegation-level talks on Saturday.

"France has particularly supported India's perspective on terror in South Asia. We are seeing convergence in new areas, particularly maritime security, counter-terrorism and renewable energy," K Nagraj Naidu, joint secretary (Europe-west), told reporters.

Besides defence, cooperation in the areas of nuclear energy and space are the other pillars of the strategic partnership between India and France.

"In the area of space, India and France have a matured engagement and we would like to take it to a new level," Naidu said.

The Indo-French cooperation in the area of space is more than five-decades-old. Besides conventional areas, thrust would also be on renewable energy, high-speed train and stepping cooperation in trade, as per reports.

(With PTI inputs)