India’s Modi Guest of Honor at France’s Bastille Day Parade

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the guest of honor at this year’s Bastille Day celebration Friday in Paris.

Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron will watch the spectacle together as French and Indian soldiers march down the Champs Elysee.

French-manufactured Rafale fighter jets that India purchased a few years ago will also participate in a flyover of the Arc de Triomphe.

Modi’s guest of honor status in the annual event marking France’s national holiday comes after India’s recent approval to purchase 26 Rafale jets and three Scorpene-class submarines from France for India’s military.

Macron said Thursday at a dinner for Modi held at the Elysee Palace that India is “a giant in the history of the world that will have a determining role in our future” and “is also a strategic partner and friend.”

Meanwhile, also on Thursday, the European Parliament passed a resolution calling for “human rights to be integrated into all areas of the EU-India partnership, including in trade.” The resolution called on member states “to systematically and publicly raise human rights concerns” at the highest level.

In addition, an assortment of personalities urged Macron, in a commentary in Le Monde, not to forget Modi’s dismal human rights record and to “encourage Prime Minister Modi to end repression of the civil society, assure freedom of major media (outlets) and protect religious liberty.”

Source : VOA News