India's PM Modi to join Macron for France's Bastille Day military parade

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© Stéphane De Sakutin, AFP

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will join President Emmanuel Macron in Paris for France's Bastille Day military parade on July 14, the two countries said in a joint statement Friday.

Following in the footsteps of other world leaders wooed by Macron such as former US president Donald Trump, the gesture towards Modi and India comes as France looks to shore up alliances in the Indo-Pacific region.

Modi's presence -- and Indian forces' participation in the parade -- would mark "a new phase in the strategic partnership between France and India," Macron's Elysee Palace office said.

The two nations would "set new objectives for strategic, cultural, scientific, academic and economic cooperation, including in a large number of industrial sectors," it added.

Like the US and other Western nations, France sees developments in the Indo-Pacific as crucial to the future geopolitical balance of power and is stepping up engagement in the region.

But the path has not been without slip-ups, as last month when Macron raised hackles with a state visit to China seen by many allies as insufficiently critical of President Xi Jinping and his ambition to take control of Taiwan.


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