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France rolls out its best red carpet for PM Modi’s visit

A senior Cabinet minister in waiting at every event on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s France itinerary.

india Updated: Apr 07, 2015 00:23 IST
Modi in france,France,nuclear deal

A senior Cabinet minister in waiting at every event on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s France itinerary. A scenic Seine river cruise with President Francios Hollande and other top dignitaries aboard. A presidential banquet. A guard of honour.

The Francois Hollande government is rolling out the best red carpets it can for Prime Minister’s Modi visit from April 9 onwards. Modi will leave for Germany on April 11.

The two sides are expected to make substantive progress on the $13-billion Rafale medium multi-role combat aircraft deal and sign the early works agreement between French Areva and Indian Nuclear Power Corporation of India for the 9,600-MW Jaitapur nuclear power plant.

With more than 10 agreements ready to be inked, France is expected to announce participation of its defence majors in the Make in India initiative as well as technical support for the Indian Mars mission.

Unlike the Indian prime ministerial visits in the past, Modi will be received by energy and sustainable development minister Segolene Royal at the airport on April 9 followed by military guard of honour reserved for visiting heads of state.

Royal was Socialist Party presidential candidate for the 2007 elections and a former partner of President Hollande with whom she has four children.

On April 10, foreign minister Fabius Laurent will accompany Modi to a war memorial at Invalides in Paris followed by two meetings on defence and infrastructure at Medef, the largest employer federation I France; CII would be its counterpart in India. Both these meetings will be attended by Laurent and defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

Modi will be then be hosted at lunch by the president of the French National Assembly followed by official meetings with President Hollande. The two leaders will then leave for a Paris cruise with President Hollande hosting a banquet later in the evening.

Prime Minister Modi with French foreign minister Laurent in waiting will go to Toulouse to visit the Airbus factory and Space Centre.

He will then move to French city of Lille to pay tribute to the fallen 4,742 Indian soldiers at Neuve-Chapelle World War I memorial.

Modi will return to Paris in the evening and address a community gathering at Carrousel Du Lovre before boarding a flight to Germany.

The capacity of the ground at Carrousel Du Lovre is said to be around 3,000 but 4,000 persons have already lined up for the function.

First Published: Apr 07, 2015 00:04 IST