French troops to join Republic Day parade on Rajpath

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New Delhi, Jan 21 (IANS) A contingent of soldiers from France will participate in this year’s Republic Day parade on Rajpath here, the first ever by any foreign country.

French President Francois Hollande will be the chief guest at this year’s Republic Day parade and celebrations.

“In a first-of-its-kind gesture, a French contingent will march along with Indian troops on January 26 on Rajpath,” external affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup told the media here on Thursday.

“There has been no occasion in the past when foreign troops participated in the march past during our Republic Day celebrations. However, you will recall that in 2009, the Indian troops participated in Bastille Day celebrations in France,” he said.

It will be the fifth occasion when a French president is the chief guest at the celebrations. No other country has been given this kind of honour, Swarup added.

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