French President Emmanuel Macron is set to be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations on January 26 that would make him the sixth French leader to grace the prestigious occasion, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.
India had invited US President Joe Biden to be the Republic Day chief guest but he expressed inability to travel to New Delhi in January.
The reasons for Biden’s decision are believed to be influenced by the State of the Union address in late January or early February, his re-election bid and Washington’s increasing focus on the Hamas-Israel conflict.
French President Macron has been invited as the Republic Day chief guest, the people cited above said.
There is no official word on the invitation yet.
New Delhi’s invitation to Macron for the Republic Day celebrations comes amid a rapid upswing in ties between the two countries including in areas of defence and security, clean energy, trade and investment and new technologies.