Sarkozy to visit satellite centre in Bangalore

Friday, December 3, 2010

BANGALORE - French President Nicolas Sarkozy begins his four-day official visit to India from this tech hub Saturday where he will address top scientists, captains of industry and students on space cooperation during his four-hour stay.

Accompanied by a large official-cum-business delegation and his celebrity wife Carla Bruni, Sarkozy is scheduled to land at 10 a.m. at the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) airport in the city.

“Sarkozy has only one official engagement during his short stay here. He will visit the satellite centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on the old airport road for a hour, which includes his address on space cooperation between the two countries,” a senior official of the space agency told IANS late Friday.

Sarkozy’s visit to the satellite centre is post-noon and he will be at the seven-star Leela Palace along with Bruni and the delegation during the transit stay.

For security reasons, the hotel has been turned into a fortress, with restrictions on movement of visitors and guests during the transit stay of Sarkozy and his delegation.

“The visit to our centre and address to about 300 invitees, including scientists, top executives and students has been arranged at the behest of the French government, as Sarkozy was keen to have a first hand account of our space programmes and collaboration related activities,” the official said.

Sarkozy’s brief interaction with the space agency’s top brass includes a presentation on Indo-French collaborative projects 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 will leave for Agra around 2 p.m.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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