Who: French President Francois Hollande
What: To be Chief Guest at Republic Day in India
When: 26 January 2016
President of France Francois Hollande will the Chief Guest at 67th India’s Republic Day (26 January 2016) celebrations. Hollande on 16 December 2015 accepted the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office.
Hollande’s India visit will help in strengthening the strategic partnership between India and France. This is his second visit to India, earlier he visited the nation in February 2013.
Apart from this, Hollande will be the fifth French leader to be a chief guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations, maximum number from any country so far. Earlier leaders from that country were Jacques Chirac in 1976 and 1998. Valery Giscard d’Estaing was the chief guest in 1980 and Nicholas Sarkozy was the chief guest of the event in 2008.
Bhutan’s head has presided four times so far in 1954, 1984, 2005 and 2013.
India-France bilateral relation
After 1998 nuclear tests by India, France was the first country with which India established a Strategic Partnership. France is also the first country with which India entered into civil nuclear energy cooperation in 2008 after obtaining the NSG waiver.
In 2015, the United States President Barack Obama was invited as the chief guest on the Republic Day. Obama was the first US President to attend the Republic Day Parade of India.