Modi likely to couple France, Germany visits

Modi likely to couple France, Germany visits

Modi likely to couple France, Germany visits

Prime Minister Narendra Modi may make France a part of his itinerary during his April visit to Germany, as diplomatic parleys indicate.

The two countries are finalising the agenda for Modi's Paris visit before it is formally announced. The French side, however, said they did not have any confirmation on the visit of the Prime Minister, though he had earlier assured the French authorities of his plan to travel to Paris. MEA sources are not ruling out the possibility of a multi-country tour.

As a part of the ground preparation, French foreign minister Laurent Fabius would be meeting his counterpart Sushma Swaraj on Thursday, French officials said. He would also call on the Prime Minister and have discussions with railway minister Suresh Prabhu and environment minister Prakash Javadekar over the next three days.

The government had earlier stated that the prime minister would travel to Germany in April as lead partner at the Hannover Fair.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin also confirmed a reciprocal visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel later this year, though dates were yet to be firmed up.

The German and French visits would be Modi’s first significant bilateral engagement with two key European leaders. The Prime Minister will be visiting Sri Lanka in March and China in May when he completes one year in office.

Paris and New Delhi are yet to move forward on two stalled mega projects – purchase of 126 Rafale fighter jets from French company Dassault Aviation and procurement of six 1650 MW EPR light water reactors from energy major Areva for Jaitapur in coastal Maharashtra.