After Obama, India manages to invite leading campaigner against Islamic State terrorists
GN Bureau | November 21, 2015
French president Francois Hollande, who has declared war against Islamic State in the wake of Prais attacks last week, will be the chief guest at India's 67th Republic Day Parade on January 26 next year. Hollande has accepted prime minister Narendra Modi's invitation. The reports come during French foreign minister Laurent Fabius's current visit to New Delhi.
The acceptance of Republic Day invitation by the French president is being seen as major diplomatic victory for the PM Modi-led NDA government as it has come on the heels of 13/11 Paris attacks. This way the Modi government can send a strong message on tackling terrorism.
Earlier this year, US president Barack Obama had graced the Republic Day function in New Delhi.
In April, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited France with the announcement that his government would circumvent an earlier tender to purchase the Rafale jets which could cost India more than $5 billion. Hollande himself had visited New Delhi in February 2013.
Modi and Hollande are expected to meet in December in Paris on the sidelines of the UN’s climate change conference. It is likely that Modi, who met Hollande in New York last month on the margins of UN General Assembly, will hand over the formal invite to Hollande during his visit to Paris.
In his mission to gather support against the Islamic State terrorists, Hollande is meeting Obama next week. The two world leaders, had a telephonic talk early this week and discussed their commitment to fighting ISIS, and Obama expressed condolences on behalf of the US to the loved ones of those killed in last week's terror attacks in Paris.
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