PM Narendra Modi arrives in France on first leg of three-nation trip

PARIS: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday arrived in France on the first leg of his three-nation tour during which he will have a summit interaction with President Emmanuel Macron to further boost the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership.

Prime Minister Modi was received by the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian at the airport here.

“Bonjour Paris! PM @narendramodi warmly welcomed by the French Foreign Minister @JY_LeDrian on his arrival in Paris on the first leg of his visit. PM will meet French President @EmmanuelMacron and PM @EPhilippePM to further build upon robust & comprehensive strategic partnership,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

During his two-day visit, Modi will also meet his French counterpart Edouard Philippe and interact with the Indian community.

He will dedicate a memorial to the Indian victims of the two Air India crashes in France in the 1950s and 1960s.

In his departure statement, the prime minister said his visit to France reflects the strong strategic partnership which the two countries deeply value and share.

“India and France have excellent bilateral ties, which are reinforced by a shared vision to cooperate for further enhancing peace and prosperity for our two countries and the world at large,” the prime minister said.

He said the strong strategic and economic partnership is complemented by a shared perspective on major global concerns such as terrorism and climate change.

“I am confident that this visit will further promote our long-standing and valued friendship with France for mutual prosperity, peace and progress,” Modi said.

From France, Modi will travel to the United Arab Emirates on Friday where he would receive the ‘Order of Zayed’, the highest civilian decoration conferred by the UAE government.

He will hold talks with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and also formally launch RuPay card to expand the network of cashless transactions abroad.

Modi will then visit Bahrain where he will hold talks with King Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and also witness the formal beginning of the re-development of the temple of Shreenathji – the oldest in the Gulf region before returning to France on Sunday to attend the G7 Summit meetings.