French President arrives in India

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 14, 2013 10:31 hrs

New Delhi: President of France Francois Hollande arrived here on Thursday for a two-day visit at the invitation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Hollande is accompanied by his partner Valerie Trierweiler, a high-level delegation including several key Ministers of his Cabinet, senior officials, business-persons and media.

He was given a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. He is then visiting Raj Ghat to pay homage to the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi.

He will hold delegation level talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will pay a call on him.

United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj will also be calling on him.

On Feb 15, the French President will deliver a lecture in the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Teen Murti House, following which, Hollande is scheduled to honour Professor Amartya Sen with Commandeur de la legion d’Honneur.

Thereafter, the French President will visit Mumbai, where he will have a meeting with the Governor of Maharashtra, K Sankaranarayanan, and participate in a Business Conference.

"Relations between India and France have been laid on strong historical foundations and shared values. With upgradation of the relationship to strategic partnership in 1998, the relationship has become multifaceted and symbiotic in areas such as defence, civil nuclear energy, space and counter terrorism. There have been regular high-level exchanges at the Head of State/Head of Government levels," said the MEA.

"Most recently, External Affairs Minister had visited France to have talks with his counterpart, the French Foreign Minister, Mr. Laurent Fabius, in January 2013.

"Today our relations are growing fast in all sectors of contemporary relevance with wide ranging contacts in economic, industrial and commercial spheres," the ministry said.

"There is also increased interaction in the fields of education, science and technology, culture and lifestyle industries services. France has consistently supported India’s growing role in the international fora and the two countries have regular consultations on global and regional issues of importance," it said.

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