Macron awards India’s Modi top honor at start of Bastille Day celebrations

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France’s president has awarded the country’s top honor to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the presidency said on Friday ahead of Bastille Day celebrations where he is the featured guest.

Emmanuel Macron awarded Modi the grand cross of the Legion d’Honneur (Legion of Honor), the highest grade of France’s order of merit that “salutes the role of the prime minister in the excellent relations of friendship and confidence that unite France and India,” the presidency said in a statement.

“It is with great humility that I accept the Legion of Honor grand cross,” Modi said in a tweet in French, alongside photos of him and Macron during the award ceremony, held at the Elysee presidential palace on Thursday evening.

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“It is an honor for the 1.4 billion residents of India,” he said, thanking Macron and the French for the honor, saying it “showed their profound affection for India and the continuation of friendship with our nation.”

France’s Legion of Honur award is given to both military and civilians for achievement and service to the nation.

It dates back to 1802, when it was introduced by Napoleon Bonaparte, and has five grades, starting at chevalier and ending with the grand cross.

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