France's Macron joins India's Republic Day celebrations as chief guest

President Emmanuel Macron was guest of honour at India's annual military parade marking 75 years of independence, in a state visit aimed at shoring up France's strategic ties with the world's fifth-largest economy.

Thousands of people lined a ceremonial boulevard in the heart of India's capital on Friday to watch a colorful parade showcasing the country's military power and cultural heritage to mark its 75th Republic Day.

French President Emmanuel Macron was chief guest at the parade celebrating the adoption of the country’s Constitution on 26 January, 1950, following India's independence from British colonial rule.

The annual Republic Day coincided this year with a two-day diplomatic tour that reflects a growing partnership between India and France, after Macron hosted Prime Minister Narendra Modi at last year's Bastille Day celebrations in Paris.

A contingent of French soldiers, including a Foreign Legion marching band, joined in the parade. Indian troops had marched down the Champs-Elysees last year under Modi's watch.

Indian President Draupadi Murmu escorted Macron in a ceremonial British-era horse-drawn carriage from the nearby president’s palace to the viewing stand.

Stunt performers on motorbikes, including more than 250 women, also joined.

“A great honor for France. Thank you, India,” Macron said on social media platform X.

Read more on RFI English

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