Hoping to avoid any missteps in India, French President Emmanuel Macron will arrive to New Delhi, just two weeks after his ally and Canadian friend Justin Trudeau returned from a blunder-struck week-long trip to India.
The Canadian blunder when Justin Trudeau visited in India could possibly be one of the most disoriented international political affair. Just two weeks after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau returned back to home, French President Emmanuel Macron has landed in New Delhi today. Allies Trudeau and Macron are often compared internationally because of broadly similar political views and their youthful energy, however, in India, the French President will ensure not to step on the sensitive stones that Trudeau did. The Canadian PM was already facing suspicions in India for openly being too soft towards Indian Sikh separatists and the embarrassment got serious when a former militant was invited to a dinner with him in Mumbai.
To avoid such embarrassment and make a different impression on his Indian hosts, French President Emmanuel Macron will avoid following the footsteps of Trudeau. As per French Presidency Office, Macron will “spend a lot of time with Narendra Modi” as the two leaders have developed strong relationships after Macron came into power. On Saturday, Modi will hold talks with Macron along with his wife Brigitte and later on Sunday, Macron will head to attend a solar power summit that has been designed to showcase India and France’s commitment to fighting climate change – which will be a priority topic of discussion during the entire trip. On Monday, Macron will head to the chaotic Hindu holy city of Varanasi on the banks of the river Ganges.
Besides climate change, another top agenda of discussion will be maritime security, defence and nuclear energy sales. The French officials have displayed need for deeper nautical partnership with India, especially strategic maritime cooperation in South and South-East Asian Ocean. For New Delhi, however, the more substantive pay-off of a nautical pact with France is a potential expansion of the Indian Navy’s operational footprint across the Indo-Pacific region. There are a lot of plans from the French to delight the Indian hosts and avoid any missteps.