Sarkozy to arrive Saturday on four-day visit

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NEW DELHI - French President Nicolas Sarkozy, accompanied by his wife Carla Bruni, will be arriving Dec 4 for a four-day visit, during which India and France are likely to further increase cooperation in civil nuclear energy.

According to an external affairs ministry statement released Tuesday, Sarkozy will arrive in Bangalore Dec 4, accompanied by his ex-model wife and a high-level delegation, comprising of ministers and top businessmen.

“The forthcoming visit of President Nicolas Sarkozy will provide further momentum to the growing Indo-French ties and strategic partnership,” said the statement.

In Bangalore, Sarkozy will visit the Indian Space Research Organisation. The next day (Dec 5) has been reserved for a private visit to Agra, where France’s first couple will appreciate the beauty of the Taj Mahal.

The substantive part of the visit will be Dec 6 (Sunday), when he arrives in New Delhi. He will be holding delegation-level formal talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

According to official sources, they are likely to sign an agreement for the import of French nuclear reactors.

On Sunday, India’s environment ministry had given clearance for a 9,900 MW Jaitapur nuclear power project slated to come up in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra.

The state-owned Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NCPIL) will now initiate the commercial negotiations with French company Areva for the project, from where power will be progressively available from 2016 onwards.

Sarkozy will therafter travel to Mumbai, where he will pay tributes to the 26/11 victims. He will also be holding a community function to give awards to staff of the Taj and Oberoi hotel managements “for their support to French nationals during the Mumbai attack of 26/11″.

Sarkozy will also attend a conference, where he will address captains of the Indian industry, before leaving for Paris.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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