New Delhi: For the first time in the history of India, contingent of any foreign country's army will take part in this year's Republic Day Parade . Reports say that a strong contingent of French Army, which is already in India for a joint military exercise, will take part in the parade along with Indian Armed forces.
This year French President Francois Hollande will be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations. His visit is expected to further strengthen the robust strategic partnership between the two countries.
This will be the fifth time that a French leader will be a Chief Guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations — the maximum number from any country so far. Earlier leaders from that country had presided in 1976, 1980, 1998 and 2008.
Bhutan has presided four times so far in 1954, 1984, 2005 and 2013. Significantly, France was the first country with which India established a Strategic Partnership in 1998 after New Delhi did nuclear tests.
France is also the first country with which India entered into a civil nuclear energy cooperation in 2008 after obtaining the NSG waiver.