India's participation in Bastille Day reflects strategic partnership with France: Manmohan Singh

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Paris, July 14 (ANI): Visiting Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Tuesday said that the participation of an Indian armed forces contingent in the Bastille Day parade on the occasion of France's National Day, reflected the friendship and strategic partnership between the two countries.

In a statement issued after taking part in the event as the Chief Guest of Honour, Dr. Singh said: "I am delighted to be present today at the National Day celebrations of France. The magnificent parade that we have witnessed dramatizes the strength and dynamism of this great nation. It was an honour to have a contingent representing all three services of our armed forces lead the parade. This reflects the friendship and strategic partnership between our two countries and the cordial ties between our armed forces."

He further went on to say that the French Revolution marked a defining moment in world history, "when the aspirations of the common man began to acquire a central place in political and social life."

He said the ideals of the French Revolution - Liberty, Equality and Fraternity - helped "inspire our freedom struggle (against British colonial rule) and Guided the founding fathers of the Indian Constitution."

He said that he was grateful to President Sarkozy for giving India a place of honour on this great occasion.

Reiterating that relations and cooperation between India and France were growing in strength and vitality in all fields, the Prime Minister said: "We have a strategic partnership and have built vibrant political ties with collaboration in energy, space research, defence, industry and commerce, science and technology, culture and tourism."

"It is my ardent wish that this partnership between our two democracies is further strengthened and defined in the years to come. This will benefit the people of both our countries," Dr. Singh said. By Smita Prakash (ANI)

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