India has invited France President Emmanuel Macron as chief guest for January 26 Republic Day celebrations, news agency ANI reported citing sources. This development comes after US President Joe Biden, who was invited to grace the Republic Day celebrations, expressed his inability to travel to New Delhi in January.
Notably, this is the 6th time a French leader will be the Chief Guest at Republic Day celebrations in the national capital.
Prior to Macron, former French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac was the Chief guest on India’s Republic Day celebrations in 1976 and 1998, and former Presidents Valery Giscard d’Estaing, Nicolas Sarkozy, and Francois Hollande in the years 1980, 2008 and 2016 respectively.
The US, Australia, and Japan encountered scheduling conflicts, thus India stated that the Quad Summit would be rescheduled to take place around Republic Day. According to sources, it is suggested that the Quad Summit take place in India later in 2024. The dates that are now being considered do not fit with all of the Quad partners, thus we are looking for updated dates. Although it was not formally announced, the Quad Summit was purportedly planned to take place the day after Republic Day.
This comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had attended French National Day or Bastille Day celebrations as the Guest of Honour in Paris. The Bastille Day parade was the highlight of the celebrations, and a 269-member Indian tri-services contingent participated in the same. Three Rafale fighter jets of the Indian Air Force joined the flypast along with French jets.