Narendra Modi greets Emmanuel Macron in Varanasi; duo inaugurate solar power plant in Mirzapur, boat ride on agenda

French President Emmanuel Macron, who is on a four-day visit to India, inaugurated a solar plant in Uttar Pradesh's Mirzapur on Monday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally received the French president, who arrived at the Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport in Varanasi by a special plane, earlier today.

Modi and Macron then travelled to Mirzapur where they inaugurated the 75MW solar plant on Monday.

The two leaders are now expected to return to Varanasi. Macron and Modi are expected to visit the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Trade Facilitation Centre at Bada Lalpur, where they will interact with artisans and watch a live demonstration of their crafts.

Narendra Modi greets Emmanuel Macron in Varanasi; duo inaugurate solar power plant in Mirzapur, boat ride on agenda

A cutout of Narendra Modi and Emmanuel Macron at Tulsi Ghat in Varanasi. PTI

According to a report in The Indian Express, the duo is also expected to make a stop at the famous Assi Ghat, where they will enjoy a boat ride along the ghats of the Ganga, culminating at the Dashashwamedh Ghat.

The two leaders will then head to the Taj Hotel, where Modi will host a lunch for the French President, after which Macron will flag off a train between Maduadih Railway Station in Varanasi, and Patna.

Modi will also launch several development projects and address a public meeting at DLW Grounds in Varanasi, the report said. Macron is expected to return to Delhi after spending a few hours at the Taj Hotel on Monday.

Accompanied by his wife Brigitte Marie-Claude, Macron arrived in India on Friday night and was greeted by Modi at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport. Macron was also accompanied by his senior Cabinet ministers. Soon after Macron embarked from his plane at the Air Force Station Palam in West Delhi, Modi welcomed the French president with a warm hug.

On Saturday, the two countries announced that they would work together to ensure freedom of navigation in the Indian Ocean and inked an agreement to expedite the construction of India's Jaitapur nuclear power plant by a French company.

India and France also expanded their bilateral engagement to include talks on the issue of terrorism and decided to join hands in the fight against the menace.

"India and France have decided to work together to deal with threats of terrorism and radicalisation," Macron had said after his meeting with Modi. "Defence cooperation between the two countries now has a new significance," he added.

The French President inaugurated the International Solar Alliance (ISA) along with Prime Minister Modi on Sunday. The summit was attended by heads of 23 nations and 10 ministerial representatives.

A report in The Times of India said that Macron pledged over $860 million for solar projects in developing countries and praised India for its efforts in making the ISA a reality.

The French President lauded India’s efforts for leading the way in scaling up solar power generation capacity."India proves that it is possible. What you are in the process of succeeding in doing is being watched by the entire world," the French President was quoted as saying by The Times of India.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Mar 12, 2018 12:59:12 IST

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