New Delhi: French President Emmanuel Macron is set to be the chief guest at India's 75th Republic Day celebrations, marking a unique reciprocal exchange following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to France on its National Day in July 2023.

This momentous visit by President Macron culminates the 25th-anniversary celebrations of the Strategic Partnership between India and France. The two leaders have engaged in a series of high-profile meetings throughout 2023, underscoring the strength and depth of the bilateral relationship.

Their interactions have spanned various global platforms, including the COP 28 Summit in Dubai, the G20 Leaders' Summit, and the G7 Summit in Hiroshima. Notably, President Macron was also the Guest of Honour at the Bastille Day Celebrations in France in July 2023.

This visit by President Macron marks the sixth time a French leader, and the fifth President, has been invited as the Chief Guest at India's Republic Day. This tradition began with President Jacques Chirac in 1976, followed by Valery Giscard d'Estaing in 1980, Nicolas Sarkozy in 2008, and Francois Hollande in 2016.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's last visit to France for Bastille Day in July 2023 was a spectacle of symbolism and substance. The visit showcased the strong bonds between the two nations, with a tri-services Indian armed forces contingent marching at Champs-Elysees and a spectacular flypast by Rafale jets.

During the visit, Prime Minister Modi was honoured with the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour, a prestigious recognition in France. A State Banquet at the Louvre Museum and a private dinner at Elysee highlighted the grandeur of the occasion. The Prime Minister also addressed the Indian community at La Seine Musicale.

On the substantive front, two key roadmaps, namely the India-France Horizon 2047 Roadmap and the Indo-Pacific Roadmap, were adopted. A total of 12 crucial documents were signed, covering areas such as UPI on Eiffel, museum cooperation, digital technologies, civil aviation, space (Trishna IA), and MDA (STP).

Furthermore, 11 announcements were made, including the establishment of the French Bureau in Hyderabad, cooperation in sports, increased CEFIPRA funding, a 5-year Schengen visa for Indian degree holders from French universities, visa exemption on official passports, and collaboration in launch services between NSIL and ArianeSpace.

Upon his arrival at the Jaipur International Airport today, the French President was received by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra and Chief Minister Bhajan Lal Sharma.

He later toured the Amber Fort and interacted with artisans and students. Thereafter, he was received by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the two leaders together visited Jantar Mantar in the Pink City. The two leaders are later scheduled to hold in-depth bilateral talks.

Macron will attend the Republic Day parade in New Delhi as Chief Guest. He will attend the At Home reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan and, later, the State Banquet, at the invitation of the President Droupadi Murmu.

President Macron has previously been in India on a State Visit in March 2018 and on an official visit in September 2023 for the Delhi G20 Summit. He has welcomed Prime Minister Modi in France on four occasions.