Modi’s Bastille Day visit to cement India-France relations

Narendra Modi Greece

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to Paris on July 14 to attend the Bastille Day Parade as the Guest of Honour at the Champs-Elysées. France celebrates this day as National Day marking the fall of the Bastille, a French prison on July 14, 1789, a key celebrative moment that binds the French together, especially the values of “liberty, equality, fraternity”.

Modi’s presence in Paris holds special significance as in 2023 France and India are celebrating 25 years of their strategic partnership. Modi will be the second Indian PM to be the Guest of Honour at Bastille Day after Dr Manmohan Singh in 2009.

In the emerging global order, Modi’s visit is likely to boost Indo-French economic cooperation and is also set to shape broader EU-India strategic ties. Even though New Delhi’s position on the Russia-Ukraine war has led to raised eyebrows in some European countries about limits of strategic convergence between EU and India, there is also a growing realisation in EU about the dynamics of strategic ambiguity and complexities of geo-political, geo-economic and geo-security factors behind India’s stand.

The European concerns notwithstanding, Modi’s visit presents an opportunity for the two nations to move into the next phase in the India-France Strategic Partnership and set new and more ambitious goals for cultural, scientific, academic, economic cooperation and wide range of interests. The visit should ideally deliver an array of common initiatives in order to respond to the challenges the world is facing including climate change, biodiversity loss and the achievement of sustainable development goals.

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