Modi breaks protocol, receives French President at airport

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets French President Emmanuel Macron on his arrival in New Delhi on March 9, 2018. (Photo: IANS ​/PIB​ )

NEW DELHI – Breaking protocol, Prime Minister Narendra Modi received French President Emmanuel Macron at the airport when he arrived here on Friday on a four-day visit to India, during the course of which the two leaders will co-chair the founding conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA).

Modi welcomed Macron with a warm hug as soon as he alighted from the aircraft and shook hands with his wife Brigitte Macron.

Modi and Macron will hold a bilateral summit on Saturday, following which a number of agreements across multiple sectors are expected to be signed.

On Sunday, Modi and Macron will co-chair the founding conference of the India-initiated International Solar Alliance (ISA), which was launched by Modi and then French President Francois Hollande during the Paris climate summit in 2015.

The ISA is conceived as a coalition of solar resource-rich countries to address their special energy needs and provide a platform to collaborate on dealing with the identified gaps through a common, agreed approach.

It is open to all 121 prospective member countries falling between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.

Till Thursday, 60 countries had signed the framework agreement of the ISA and another 30 submitted the instruments of ratification.

Sunday’s conference will be attended by 23 of those who have submitted the instruments of ratification and 24 of those who have signed the framework agreement.

During the course of his stay in India, Macron will also visit Agra and Varanasi and have a town hall interaction with students in New Delhi.

During his visit to Varanasi on Monday, he will inaugurate a 75MW solar plant built by Engie Solar at Mirzapur.

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