Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday used the Pakistani airspace, the first time since the Balakot airstrike in February, to travel to France for a bilateral meet.
The airspace was shut following the airstrike by the Indian Air Force (IAF) on February 26. IAF planes had destroyed terror camps in Pakistan's Balakot, following the February 14 Pulwama terror attack which killed over 40 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir. The CRPF personnel lost their lives after their convoy was attacked by a JeM terrorist.
PM Modi left on a three-nation tour with France being his first stop, followed by UAE and Bahrain. In Paris, PM Modi is scheduled to hold bilateral talks in French President Emmanuel Macron with counter-terrorism and defence topping the agenda of discussions.
He will arrive at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris around 5.30 pm on Thursday before meeting Macron at 6.15 pm (Central European Summer Time). Delegation-level talks will take place at 7 pm, followed by press statements at 8 pm (Central European Summer Time). PM Modi will then be hosted for dinner by Macron at 8.15 pm. The dinner will be at Chateau de Chantilly, a 19th-century site located in Oise, 60 km from Paris.
PM Modi is also scheduled to address the Indian community in France on Friday and will inaugurate a memorial for victims of an Air India crash several decades ago. He will then depart for UAE, visit Baharain on Saturday and return to France for the G7 Summit on Sunday.
"The bilateral visit to France and the invitation to G7 Summit are in keeping with the tradition of strong and close partnership and high-level political contacts between India and France," the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.