Sarkozy arriving on Jan 25 on two-day packed visit

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New Delhi, Jan 23 (UNI) French President Nicolas Sarkozy will arrive here on January 25 early morning on a two-day packed state visit, primarily to be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day parade.

After his arrival at the Air Force Station, Palam, at 0700 hrs, he will be given a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The first to call on him will be External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

The meeting with the External Affairs Minister will be followed by official talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and between the delegations of the two countries.

The French President will be accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising six Ministers, about 50-60 CEOs and 20 officials of the Higher Education Department.

After the talks, the two sides will sign agreements for cooperation in various sectors.

This will be followed by a call-on by Leader of Opposition L K Advani and later by Vice President Hamid Ansari.

UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi will also call on him.

In the evening, Mr Sarkozy will meet President Pratibha Patil at Rastrapati Bhavan. The President will host a banquet in honour of the visiting dignitary.

The next day, President Sarkozy will attend the Republic Day parade as the Chief Guest.

Mr Sarkozy will be the second French President during the past ten years to be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day parade.

He will visit the Taj Mahal at Agra in the afternoon and return to Delhi in the evening to attend the 'At Home' Republic Day Reception given by President Pratibha Patil.

He will leave for Paris at about 2200 hrs.


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