France keen to host PM soon

France keen to host PM soon

France is keen to play host to India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi “as early as possible”, perhaps in the month of September, when he would also travel to New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who is currently on a visit to New Delhi, will call on the Prime Minister on Tuesday.

“I will convey to Prime Minister Modi an invitation on behalf of President Hollande for an official visit as early as possible. Possibly in September, when the prime minister goes to New York for the United Nations General Assembly,” Fabius told journalists in New Delhi.

Hollande had called Modi and extended the invitation informally soon after he led the Bharatiya Janata Party to a landslide victory in the parliamentary elections.

Fabius is the first foreign minister of a western country to visit New Delhi and call on Modi after the NDA government took office.

Paris is understood to have suggested that the prime minister could visit France either while going to New York or while coming back.

Modi chose Bhutan as his first foreign destination as prime minister to underline his government’s emphasis on New Delhi’s ties with the countries in the neighbourhood.
He will embark on a visit to Brazil to attend the annual summit of the BRICS (a bloc comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) in the middle of next month, when he will also have bilateral meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The prime minister is expected to travel to Japan sometime in August.

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