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Both honoured with 'Champions of the Earth Award' by UN

NEW DELHI, 26 SEP. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron were on Wednesday awarded the ''Champions of the Earth'' award by the United Nations.

Four other environmental changemakers were also awarded by the UN.

“Emmanuel Macron, President of France and Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, are recognized in the Policy Leadership category for their pioneering work in championing the International Solar Alliance and promoting new areas of levels of cooperation on environmental action, including Macron’s work on the Global Pact for the Environment and Modi’s unprecedented pledge to eliminate all single-use plastic in India by 2022,” the United Nations said in a press release.

The announcement of the award was made shortly after French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed that the Rafale fighter jet deal between India and France was a government-to-government deal.

''PM Modi is right. That's a Govt-to-Govt discussion. We have a very strong partnership between India and France regarding Defence. I don’t want to comment on any other thing,'' French President Emmanuel Macron told ANI.

The French President had earlier distanced himself from the controversy, saying he was not in power when the multi-billion dollar agreement for the 36 fighter jets was signed between New Delhi and Paris.

India had inked an intergovernmental agreement with France in September last year for procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of around Rs 58,000 crore, nearly one-and-half years after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the proposal during a visit to Paris.

The delivery of the jets is scheduled to begin from September 2019.

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