Manmohan takes up Mittal issue with Chirac
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Manmohan takes up Mittal issue with Chirac

Chirac insisted that the concerns in Europe over Mittal's hostile bid were absolutely legitimate.

india Updated: Feb 20, 2006 19:05 IST

Manmohan Singh on Monday discussed with French President Jacques Chirac LN Mittal's controversial bid to take over European steel giant Arcelor.

He hoped a "fair decision" will be taken considering "interests of all stake-holders".

Chirac, whose country has been opposing the bid, insisted that the "concerns" in Europe over Mittal's "hostile" bid were absolutely legitimate.

"Yes, this matter did come up during our discussions," Singh said at a joint press conference with Chirac when asked whether he had taken up the issue with the French leader.

Noting that Chirac "explained" the position in detail, the Prime Minister said "it is my hope that a fair decision, taking into account the interests of all the stake-holders, will be taken in this matter."

The controversy was one of the issues that dominated the joint press conference held after the talks between Singh and Chirac, with two of the four questions being fielded on it.

Significantly, prior to the talks, Mittal met the Prime Minister for about 15 minutes.

Chirac said the bid was "purely financial in nature" and there has been no presentation of any kind of industrial development plan.

"We do not know anything about the contents of what is intended. Therefore, we will wait and see. We are not pre-judging anything," he said.

First Published: Feb 20, 2006 18:55 IST