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Macron wants France to be India’s entry point to Europe

French President Emmanuel Macron said he wanted France to be New Delhi's 'best partner' in Europe and entry point for the continent, a position currently held by Britain, as he began his four-day tour of India.

Macron was addressing reporters in New Delhi after he was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the red sand-stone forecourts of the British era Presidential Palace.

Later, Macron and his wife paid homage to India’s iconic freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi at his memorial, Rajghat, situated on the banks of river Yamuna. The memorial stands at the spot where Gandhi was cremated after his assassination in January 1948.

Macron, a pro-business centrist who swept to power last year, has been beating the drum for France as a new, modernised “startup nation” on the world stage, while he pushes ahead with a wide-ranging programme of reforms at home. According to official figures, India was the third-largest source of foreign direct investment into Britain in 2015, compared to the 30th largest in France, according to 2013 Bank of France figures.

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