French Foreign Minister arrives on four-day visit

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New Delhi, Dec 20: French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner arrived here on a four-day visit today to further strengthen the bilateral ties with India. During his visit, Kouchner will meet External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee to hold talks on bilateral matters and regional and international issues. The French Minister is expected to firm up French President Nicholas Sarkozy"s visit agenda during talks. Sarkozy is scheduled to visit India next month.

He will be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day. Kouchner will call on Prime Minster Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi. Kouchner, will also participate in a debate with NGOs on the theme of "International Solidarity for Health", where Labour Minister Oscar Fernandes, Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma are expected to be present.

Kouchner is accompanied by his wife Christine Ockrent along with the French Foreign Ministry officials. He will also visit Agra. India and France have a Strategic Partnership since 1998, spanning cooperation in a wide range of fields including political, economic, defence and high technology areas like space and civilian nuclear energy.

ANI>

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