1. French elections 2017: PM Narendra Modi congratulates France’s youngest President Emmanuel Macron

French elections 2017: PM Narendra Modi congratulates France’s youngest President Emmanuel Macron

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today congratulated newly-elected President of France Emmanuel Macron.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: May 8, 2017 8:43 AM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today congratulated newly-elected President of France Emmanuel Macron.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today congratulated newly-elected President of France Emmanuel Macron. “Congratulations to @EmmanuelMacron for an emphatic victory in the French Presidential election. #Presidentielle2017,” PM Modi tweeted this morning. PM Modi said, “I look forward to working closely with President-elect Emmanuel Macron to further strengthen India-France ties.”

Macron, 39, defeating Marine Le Pen yesterday, created history by becoming the youngest president in the 59-year history of the French Fifth Republic. Macron’s victory marked the third time in six months –following elections in Austria and the Netherlands — that European voters shot down far-right populists who wanted to restore borders across Europe.

Check out PM Modi’s tweets

Independent centrist Emmanuel Macron topped 66 percent of the vote as the interior ministry counted the final few votes in France’s presidential election early on Monday. The ministry said Macron had been elected president with 66.06 percent of valid votes cast in Sunday’s run-off, after accounting for all but 0.01 percent of the country’s 47 million registered voters.

A record 11.5 percent of votes cast were either blank or spoiled, while a near-record total of 25.38 percent of the registered voters abstained, the official figures showed.

Notably, in January, during the talks between PM Narendra Modi and French Minister for Foreign Affairs Jean-Marc Ayrault in New Delhi, both leaders had ‘considerable’ discussions on international terrorism of which the two countries are victims. “I spoke about different aspects of our partnership,” Ayrault told reporters here on the sidelines of a function after his meeting with Modi, who was in New Delhi to attend the 14th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the Centre’s outreach programme for overseas Indians.

The French minister, who was in India for a three-day visit, had said: “We spoke about defence because India needs to protect itself. Therefore, defence is an important area. I also shared with him concerns about terrorism and how we are together in fighting it.” Noting that India has various defence needs, for example Rafale, he said, “It needs submarines, it needs helicopters. So we did discuss all of these.”

Notably, in September last year, India had inked a Euro 7.87 billion (about Rs 59,000 crore) deal with France for purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets capable of carrying nuclear weapons and equipped with latest missiles that will give the IAF greater “potency” over arch rival Pakistan.

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