Chirac to address MPs at Vigyan Bhavan | india | Hindustan Times
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Chirac to address MPs at Vigyan Bhavan

Chirac will hold talks with Manmohan Singh on an entire array of the India-France relations.

india Updated: Feb 13, 2006 14:42 IST

The Left parties may have problems with US President George Bush addressing MPs at Vigyan Bhavan, but there is no such hitch with French President Jacques Chirac doing it at the same venue next week.

Chirac, who flies in New Delhi from Bangkok on a three-day visit on February 19, will address top businessmen, select MPs and diplomats at the Vigyan Bhavan convention centre the next day.

He will hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on an entire array of the India-France relations and later hold a joint press conference with him on February 20.

Security teams from France, who visited New Delhi last week, have cleared the venue for the French President's address that will unveil a new phase in India-France ties revolving around civil nuclear energy, defence cooperation and accelerated two-way investment between the two countries.

Chirac's address may clear the hurdles in the way of a similar exercise by Bush at the same venue next month, the sources said.

Earlier, there was a plan for Bush to address the joint session of Parliament, but the proposal ran into trouble after the Left parties went public with their decision to boycott such an event.

The government subsequently zeroed in on Vigyan Bhavan as a possible venue for Bush's address, but the US security teams that visited New Delhi early this month were not keen due to the Left parties' plan to hold anti-US protests outside the venue.

The government is keen to reciprocate Washington's gesture of inviting Manmohan Singh to address the joint session of the US Congress during his visit to the US last year, but its Communist allies seem determined to ensure that such a move does not succeed.

First Published: Feb 13, 2006 14:42 IST