Paris: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the Guest of Honour at the Bastille Day Parade in Paris today. A tri-services Indian armed forces contingent would be participating in it, including IAF aircraft. French National Day, or Bastille Day occupies a special place in French consciousness. This day commemorates the Storming of the Bastille Prison in 1789 during the French Revolution. Bastille Day Parade is the highlight of the Bastille Day Celebrations. 

Prime Minister Modi will hold delegation-level talks with President of France Emmanuel Macron in the evening. He will also interact with CEOs of Indian and French companies, and prominent French personalities. The French President will host the State Banquet at the iconic Louvre Museum tonight. Mr Modi reached Paris yesterday on an official visit to France. He held meetings with French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne and President of the French Senate, Gerard Larcher. They deliberated on a range of issues of mutual interest and agreed to work together to deepen India-France cooperation in a number of areas.

President Macron also conferred the country's highest of civilian and military honours, the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour, on Mr Modi following a private dinner at Élysée Palace.

Interacting with the Indian at a community event last night,  Prime Minister said India is the mother of democracy and model of diversity. He said the world is moving to a new world order and India's role is also steadily changing. He said India is witnessing a major transformation today and the command of this change lies with the citizens of India.

In a major boost to the market expansion of India's unified payments interface (UPI), Prime Minister Narendra Modi also announced that New Delhi and Paris have come to an

agreement to use the flagship instant payment system in France. PM Modi said the service will begin from the Eiffel Tower, where Indian tourists can make payments in Indian Rupees using a mobile application.

Prime Minister said people-to-people connect is the strongest foundation of India-France partnership. He said India and France are tackling many challenges of the 21st century. He added that at this crucial time, the importance of the strategic partnership between the two countries has increased even more.

Mr Modi said that hundred years ago, Indian soldiers were martyred on French soil while performing their duty.

He said that the Punjab Regiment, one of the regiments that took part in the war in France, is going to participate in the National Day Parade.

The community event was followed by a private dinner hosted by President Macron at Elysee Palace in honour of the Prime Minister.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the India - France Strategic Partnership. The Prime Minister’s France visit is an opportunity to chart the course of the partnership for the future across diverse sectors such as strategic, cultural, scientific, academic and economic cooperation. It is an opportunity to chart the way for the next 25 years, coinciding with 100th anniversary of Independence in 2047. 

India -France ties are rooted in deep trust and commitment. France is a key Strategic Partner for India and one of the earliest. The two countries cooperate closely across various domains including defence, space, civil nuclear, blue economy, trade, investment, education, culture and people-to-people ties. Both nations also work together on regional and global issues. 

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