Later in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Macron will hold a bilateral summit after which a number of agreements across multiple sectors are likely to be signed. President Macron interacted with students at Bikaner House in New Delhi.
"Our defence cooperation is very strong and we consider France among the most trusted defence partners", Modi said in a statement to the media, in the presence of Macron. Macron said India and France have made a decision to work together to deal with threats of terrorism and radicalisation. During the delegation-level talks, both leaders were expected to review the progress so far in India-France bilateral relations and exchange their views on regional and worldwide issues of mutual interest for both nations. "And I aim to have more and more Indian citizens coming to France studying, becoming a partner, creating start-ups and I want my country to be your best partner in Europe".
"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 was given a ceremonial welcome this morning.
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Reflecting a growing depth in defence ties, India and France today inked a strategic pact providing for the use of each other's military facilities including opening naval bases to warships, an agreement that comes amid China's growing military expansionism in the Indo-Pacific region.
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. He also said the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) was important for the peace and prosperity of the world.
"The values of liberty, equality and fraternity echo not just in France but are also deeply enshrined in Indias Constitution as well", the Prime Minister said. Macron will be in India from March 9 to 12 to strengthen the strategic partnership between India and France. The two leaders will now co-chair the founding conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) on Sunday.
During the visit, the two countries would look to boost ties, especially in the areas of maritime security and counter-terrorism.