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France's Hollande Views Indian Republic Day Parade

  • Associated Press

French President Francois Hollande, flanked by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left and Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, waves to the media at a reception hosted by the Indian President to mark India's Republic Day in New Delhi, Jan. 26, 2016.

French President Francois Hollande, flanked by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left and Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, waves to the media at a reception hosted by the Indian President to mark India's Republic Day in New Delhi, Jan. 26, 2016.

French President Francois Hollande was wrapping up a three-day visit to India on Tuesday by watching an elaborate display of Indian military hardware and marching bands taking part in India's Republic Day celebrations.

He was joined by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other top officials for the anniversary of India's constitution taking force in 1950.

On Monday, French and Indian officials signed more than a dozen agreements including one on jointly combating terror, but stopped short of a final deal on New Delhi's desire to purchase 36 French Rafale fighter jets. Both Modi and Hollande said they hoped a final agreement would be hammered out soon.

Modi had announced India's intention to buy the fighter jets manufactured by Dassault Aviation in Paris in April. Since then officials on the two sides have been discussing prices, servicing and other details.

After viewing the parade, Hollande was to attend a reception at India's sprawling presidential palace.

The French leader arrived Sunday in the northern city of Chandigarh, where Modi joined him and lauded France's decision to invest $1 billion every year in India in various sectors.

Chandigarh was designed in the 1950s by Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier and is one of three places that France has pledged to help develop as so-called "smart cities'' with clean water supplies, efficient sewage disposal and public transportation.

Hollande and French business leaders met with their Indian counterparts to boost bilateral trade, which in 2014 totaled $8.6 billion.

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