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Sarkozy's India Visit: Terror, Nuclear Deal Top The Agenda

PTI 04 Dec 2010, 9:40:27 IST
New Delhi:  French President Nicolas Sarkozy is hoping to build closer ties with India as he arrives on Saturday for a four-day visit. This is Sarkozy's second visit to India after 2008 when he was the chief guest for Republic Day.

And unlike his last visit, Sarkozy will be accompanied by Carla Bruni Sarkozy this time.

 The last top level visit between the two countries was Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's grand reception in France in 2008 as the chief guest for French Bastille Day.

 It was then that Indian soldiers marched down the Champs Elysee for the first time.

 During his visit, the French President is expected to visit the ISRO satellite centre in Bangalore on Saturday. A private trip to Agra is also planned on Sunday; this Sarkozy will not be alone at the Taj Mahal.

 On Monday, a delegation-level talks and a working lunch with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been planned in Delhi.

The French President will then head to Mumbai where he will visit the 26/11 police memorial in Mumbai. French bravery awards will be given to the staff of the Taj and Oberoi hotels for saving lives during the Mumbai attacks. During the attacks, many of the hotel guests were French.

 A deal for French nuclear reactors is likely to be on the top of the agenda and last minute negotiations are on to make a big announcement during the visit. The French are hoping to give pending defence deals a push.

 Both India and France are keen give a boost to business after trade between two countries declined in 2009 post the economic crisis