French President Sarkozy to arrive in Bangalore

Friday, December 3, 2010

BANGALORE - French President Nicolas Sarkozy will arrive in this tech hub Saturday on a four-day official visit to India for expanding cooperation in defence, nuclear power, sustainable development and culture.

Accompanied by a large official-cum business delegation and his celebrity wife Carla Bruni, the 55-year-old Sarkozy will land at the defence behemoth’s Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) airport in the city around 10 a.m. amid tight security.

Sarkozy’s only official engagement here will be a visit to the satellite centre of the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and address top scientists, executives and students post-noon on space cooperation between the two countries.

In between, Sarkozy and his delegation will make a transit stay at a seven-star hotel, which has been turned into a fortress, with restrictions on movement of guests and visitors.

At the satellite centre, Sarkozy will have a first-hand account of India’s space programmes and explore further collaboration between ISRO and the French national space agency Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES).

Sarkozy’s interaction with the space agency’s top brass includes a presentation on Indo-French joint missions such as the Mega-Tropiques and Saral (Satellites for Argos and Altika), meant for the study of oceans and atmosphere.

After an hour-long visit and interaction at the satellite centre, Sarkozy leaves for Agra later afternoon by a charted aircraft.

Coinciding with Sarkozy’s visit, French minister for higher education and research Valerie Pecresse will inaugurate the third French consulate in India at Bangalore to cater to the southern region.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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