Ahead of the Republic Day celebrations, an officer in the French Foreign Legion, Captain Loic Alexandre, expressed his honour and pride in being here in India for the celebrations “We are very honoured to be here in India. The French army has been invited and we saw the Indian army in Paris, France, last year. So they proved that they are part of a great army and that’s why we are very proud to be here with them,” he said.
He further thanked all the services who welcomed them and emphasised that it is a great moment for them.
“We are very well welcomed. So I would like to thank all the services that are working to welcome us and yes, it’s a very great moment for us,” he added.
Alexandre highlighted that there will be 130 people, marching on Kartavya Path on Republic Day.
“For this very special occasion, Republic Day in India, we are 130 people who are marching on Kartavya Path…There is the music band on the French… and then infantry regiment, the second foreign infantry regiment that’s based in the south of France, he said.
He further added that there will be three planes that will fly, adding that two Rafaels and one tanker aircraft will be there.
Moreover, according to Alexandre, there will be one woman in the aircraft in the Airbus and then the Colonel who commands the French contingent for the occasion…”She’s a pilot in the French Air Force,” he said.
Further highlighting the India-France relationship, he said that the Indian Army is a partner of the French Army as both countries have been conducting a lot of joint exercises.
“The Indian Army is a partner of the French Army because we do a lot of exercises together each year. The last one with the Air Force was Garuda. It’s a long collaboration and that’s why it’s important for us to be here,” he said.
Meanwhile, Captain Louis, who will be leading the French contingent, said that the partnerships concerning India and France can be strengthened, as it happened last year when the Indian detachment participated in the Bastille day.
“I would say the partnerships concerning our two countries can be strengthened, as we did last year when the Indian detachment came for Bastille Day,” he said.
India and France share a high degree of convergence on a range of regional and global issues as strategic partners.
This year, India and France will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the India-France Strategic Partnership.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who is a Chief Guest for the 75th Republic Day celebrations in the national capital, will arrive in Jaipur today.
Macron’s visit caps the 25th-anniversary celebrations of the India-France Strategic Partnership.
Ahead of the French President’s visit, the pink city of Jaipur has been decked up with posters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Macron
Moreover, PM Modi was the Guest of Honour at the Bastille Day Parade held on July 14, 2023, in Paris.
He had visited France at the invitation of French President Macron. Meanwhile, French President Macron also visited India in September this year to attend the G20 Summit which was held under India’s Presidency.
President Macron and Prime Minister Modi held a bilateral meeting in Delhi on September 10, on the sidelines of the G20 summit. Following the meeting, PM Modi said they reaffirmed their commitment to take India-France relations to new heights of progress.
India and France cooperate closely in various sectors, including defence, space, civil nuclear, trade, investment, education, culture and people-to-people ties.