Sarkozy arrives in Bangalore amidst tight security

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Sarkozy with Carla Bruni
Bangalore, Dec 4: French president Nicolas Sarkozy arrived here in Bangalore at 10am accompanied by first lady Carla Bruni. On a highly anticipated four-day visit, Sarkozy's arrival will mean improved bilateral ties between the two countries.

This is the second visit to India during his tenure and the agenda includes signing of a mega nuclear deal, cooperation in areas of defence, culture and sustainable development.

He arrived at the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) airport amidst tight security and his only official engagement while here is visiting the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and addressing top scientists, executives and students post-noon on space cooperation between the two countries.

In ISRO, Sarkozy will have a first-hand account of India's space programmes and explore collaborations between ISRO and the French national space agency Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES). Part of his major agenda, his time at ISRO will include a presentation on Indo-French joint missions such as the Mega-Tropiques and Saral (Satellites for Argos and Altika), meant for the study of oceans and atmosphere.

Later, mid-afternoon he will leave for Agra on a private visit to the Taj Mahal with Carla Bruni. After an hour-long visit and interaction at the satellite centre, Sarkozy leaves for Agra later afternoon by a chartered aircraft.

On Monday, a delegation-level talks and a working lunch with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been planned in Delhi. Later he will proceed to Mumbai where he will visit the 26/11 police memorial in Mumbai. The occassion will also see the Taj and Oberoi hotel staff receiving the French bravery awards for saving lives during the deadly Mumbai attacks, including those of French nationals.

The priority in this visit is to push the deal for French nuclear reactors and the pending defence deal is another top item. The visit coincided with the French minister for higher education and research Valerie Pecresse inaugurating the third French consulate in India at Bangalore.

OneIndia News

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