Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron’s Visit to Taj Mahal in India

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President Emmanuel Macron, accompanied by his wife Brigitte, attended this Sunday, March 11, a flamboyant sunset at Taj Mahal, one of the highlights of his three-day state visit to India.

On the second day of his state visit to India , Emmanuel Macron took a trip to the iconic mausoleum of the Taj Mahal at a time when the sun meets the horizon. The French president was in the arm of wife Brigitte. The couple did not shun his pleasure.

The French president was at the arm of his wife Brigitte. | AFP / Ludovic MARIN

The Taj Mahal “says a lot about the human soul, great pains, a civilization that has spread from India to Mongolia, from China to Turkey,” said Emmanuel Macron. As with all visits by foreign dignitaries, this 17th century monument, built by Emperor Shah Jahan, was closed to the public for the occasion. The site was deserted, magnified by a slender gilded light of late afternoon. “You take the Taj Mahal in the figure, we are totally impressed,” enthused Brigitte Macron. “It’s a certain idea of ​​beauty and perfection. ”

Welcomed by traditional dancers | AFP / Ludovic MARIN

90 Minute visit with a guide

Welcomed by traditional dancers on the descent of the plane, 170 kilometers south of New Delhi, the presidential couple visited for more than an hour and a half the famous Taj Mahal. A French-speaking guide explained to the couple about the architecture and history of the place, built during the first half of the 17th century by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.

“The strength of India holds and will hold in its ability to marry its religions and civilizations,” said the head of state. The Taj Mahal has suffered in recent months the wrath of a fringe Hindu nationalists, who deny this construction in memory of the wife of the dead emperor in childbirth. A controversy that is part of a questioning more general these days in India of the country’s Muslim heritage.

A French-speaking guide explained to the Macron couple the architecture and history of the place, built during the first half of the 17th century by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. | AFP / Ludovic MARIN

Energy issues at the center of discussions

Regarding diplomatic issues, Emmanuel Macron had previously called for mobilization to help the poorest countries to better take advantage of solar energy following the example of India. The demographic giant of South Asia, third polluter of the planet, wants indeed to multiply its solar production by 25% in seven years, to bring it to 100 gigawatts (GW) till 2022. The French leader joined meeting in Sunday with Twenty leaders from Asia, Africa or Oceania to official launch the International Solar Alliance (ISA), a coalition resulting from COP21.

“We must remove all obstacles and scale up” to develop solar energy, he said at the opening of the ISA summit in New Delhi, co-chaired with Indian Prime Minister Narendra modi. Energy issues are an important part of this visit. The two leaders will inaugurate Monday a 100 MW solar plant in Mirzapur, near Varanasi, built by the French group ENGIE.

A word for the French of India

On Saturday, they discussed  with the delicate about the  project of building a nuclear power plant of six EPR reactors by the French group EDF in Jaitpur, on the south-west coast of India. The French delegation welcomed a “major breakthrough” in this issue, which has been under discussion for a decade, and hopes that work can begin in late 2018 for this “world’s largest nuclear power station”.

By launching the Solar Alliance, Paris and New Delhi are at the forefront of the fight against global warming, especially after the announcement of the withdrawal of the US from Donald Trump of the Paris Agreement of 2015 . “We wants to offer the “ecosystem” of technology solutions, financial resources and mass production capabilities for the 121 countries located between the tropics of Cancer”, explained Narendra Modi. The goal of the ISA is to mobilize $1 trillion to develop 1 TW (terawatt) of solar energy till 2030.

The President of the Republic also addressed the French expatriate community, to which he assured that he would “continue to reform the country in depth” . “It will not stop tomorrow or the day after tomorrow or in the next three months,” he said.

He also also spoke with Rahul Gandhi, chairman of the opposition Congress Party and heir to the famous Indian political dynasty.

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