French President Emmanuel Macron receives ceremonial welcomes at Rashtrapati Bhavan

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French President Emmanuel Macron receives ceremonial welcomes at Rashtrapati Bhavan

Macron and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi - addressing a news conference in New Delhi after signing the agreements - also committed to strengthening their partnership on defence andsecurity.

"Our defence cooperation is very strong and we consider France among the most trusted defence partners", Modi said in a statement to the media, in the presence of Macron.

An agreement between Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd and EDF, France, was signed to prescribe a way forward for the implementation of the 9900 MW Jaitapur nuclear power project at Madban village of Ratnagiri district in Maharashtra.

Both the leaders also talked about cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.

In a separate tweet regarding the meeting with Salwai, Kumar said: "The two leaders discussed cooperation in capacity building, IT, climate change, solar technology and developmental cooperation". Macron, who arrived in India last night on a four-day visit, further said India and France have chose to work together to deal with threats of terrorism and radicalisation.

India and France also agreed to take their cooperation in maritime security to the next level.

Sources said there was a communication from the French government recently indicating its eagerness in making an announcement by the two sides favouring additional procurement of Rafale jets for the Indian Air Force.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Hyderabad House this morning said that he wants France to become India's best partner in Europe.

New Delhi, Mar 10 India and France today chose to step up cooperation in the space sector by exploring ways to use satellites for maritime surveillance and collaborating on inter-planetary missions.

"The second objective of this trip is to organise this International Solar Alliance (conference)", he said.

France is the ninth-largest foreign investor in India.

The joint strategic vision for Indian Ocean calls for France and India committing "to utilizing every opportunity of their naval ships calling at each other's ports for holding passage exercises".

Mr Modi and Mr Macron are particularly anxious as China extended its military presence by opening a naval base in the eastern African nation of Djibouti past year.

The $9.3 billion (Dh34bn) framework agreement for six nuclear reactors was signed during a visit to India in 2010 by then president Nicolas Sarkozy.

Modi, who welcomed Macron with a bear hug on his arrival Friday, said the accord was crucial as the Indian Ocean region would play a "very significant role" in the days to come.

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