French President Emmanuel Macron is poised to be the chief guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations on January 26 next year, according to sources. Initially, the Indian government had extended an invitation to the U.S. President Joe Biden, who regretfully conveyed his inability to attend the event in New Delhi.
Emmanuel Macron will be the sixth French leader to partake in the Republic Day parade, following in the footsteps of Jacques Chirac, who graced the occasion twice in 1976 and 1998, and former presidents Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, Nicolas Sarkozy, and François Hollande, who attended in 1980, 2008, and 2016, respectively.
The invitation to Macron follows Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to France in July, where he participated in the Bastille Day celebrations in Paris. The event commemorates the historic storming of the Bastille prison during the French Revolution in 1789.
Furthermore, Macron’s visit to Delhi in September for the G20 Summit marked a continuation of high-level engagements between India and France. Prime Minister Modi expressed optimism about the progression of bilateral relations during a productive meeting with Macron.
This year’s Republic Day chief guest was Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. India traditionally invites foreign leaders to partake in its Republic Day celebrations, with the exception of 2021 and 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.