To boost ties further India’s Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, Chief of the Air Staff embarked on a five-day visit to France (April 19-23) on an invitation from Gen Philippe Lavigne, Chief of Staff.
The visit was to explore potential avenues for strengthening the level of interaction between the two Air Forces," the IAF tweeted.
The icing on the cake of Indo-French ties would have been Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s now presumably cancelled visit to Paris and Portugal from May 8. A final decision is yet to be taken, but Modi was set to visit Portugal for the crucial India-EU summit on May 8 and France for bilateral talks with French president Emmanuel Macron. Diplomatic sources stated that “We are working with the European institutions and the Government of India to conduct the summit by video-conference, with the EU [leaders] physically present in Portugal."
There is also the pending high-profile virtual interaction between Modi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson, following the latter’s cancellation of a much-publicised visit to India due to the rise in Covid-19 infections. When these high-profile interactions do take place, they will once again showcase India’s influence and heft on the world stage.