President Hollande and PM Modi hugged when they met at Chandigarh's Rock Garden.
New Delhi: French President Francois Hollande, who will be chief guest at India's Republic Day celebration, arrived today for a three-day visit that he said was aimed at promoting strategic ties and implement decisions taken during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to France.
Here are the 10 latest developments:
Welcoming him in Chandigarh, the city designed by French architect Le Corbusier, PM Modi said: "The day terrorists attacked Paris I decided that President Hollande should be our chief guest. We will be united in our fight against enemies of humanity."
PM Modi also urged French CEOs to do business in India, stating: "Retrospective taxation is a thing of past. We will ensure that this chapter is never opened again in India."
President Hollande indicated that the Rafale jet deal could take more time. On landing in Chandigarh, he told reporters: "We are going to take another step on the road which we hope will lead us to India's acquisition of the 36 Rafale jets. The commercial contract can only come after the inter-governmental accord, which will be discussed during my visit."
In an interview to the Press Trust of India before coming to India, President Hollande had said: "Agreeing on the technicalities of this arrangement obviously takes time, but we are on the right track." His main goals for the visit were enhancing ties in defence, and tackling climate change, he said today.
The nearly Rs 60,000 crore Rafale deal is expected to be discussed when President Hollande and PM Modi hold talks on Monday.
PM Modi had announced in Paris last year that India would buy 36 Rafales in flyaway condition for the Indian Air Force.
The jets are key to India's plans to modernize its military and keep up with neighbours Pakistan and China. Indian and French negotiators are still haggling over the price of the jets for the Indian Air Force.
Thousands of security personnel from Punjab, Haryana and para-military personnel are in Chandigarh with security experts assessing a "very real" ISIS threat. Earlier this month, a letter warning against President Hollande's visit was received by the French consulate in Bengaluru.
President Hollande and PM Modi are expected to sit side by side to watch Tuesday's Republic Day parade. French soldiers will march down Rajpath along with Indian troops, a first for any foreign army.