Down by the riverside: Modi, Hollande to talk diplomacy on Seine

From discussing foreign relations with Chinese President Xi Jinping on a traditional swing along the Sabarmati River front
to a walk and talk with US President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has always made sure his interactions with foreign leaders have been over-the-top. And continuing with his personal approach, Prime Minister Modi, who will be visiting France this month, will hold talks with President Francoise Hollande on a boat ride on the river Seine, while the two nations seek to deepen diplomatic ties.

Down by the riverside: Modi, Hollande to talk diplomacy on Seine

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande. PIB

According to a report in The Economic Times, the PM is hoping to score big on symbolism with a proposed boat ride with Hollande on the majestic Seine- -- that flows through the heart of Paris -- on an evening during his visit to France, the first stop on his three nation trip to Europe and Canada that begins on April 9, diplomatic sources indicated.

"A boat ride on the Seine river is part of the bonding initiative with the President that will not only make the trip memorable but bring the two leaders closer to pushing for a bilateral partnership. This will help build personal chemistry between Modi and Hollande," a source said, but refused to divulge further details at this stage, given the security imperatives.

Earlier this year, Modi invited French companies to take advantage of the "Make in India" programme in various sectors while pointing out the liberalised FDI regime in India.

This was conveyed to French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius when he called on PM Modi in February. Recalling his meeting with President Francois Hollande on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Brisbane last year, Modi said he was looking forward to his visit to France in April.

"Prime Minister Modi and Fabius discussed key areas of bilateral cooperation, including Space, Defence, Railways, Smart Cities, Tourism, Sustainable Development, Energy and Climate Change," an official release said in Delhi.

Mr Fabius, who was in Delhi to attend a three-day "Delhi Sustainable Development Summit" also held talks with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj during which the two leaders discussed cooperation in key areas of energy, climate and trade.

Asked if Swaraj briefed his French counterpart on recent breakthrough in the Indo-US nuclear deal, he said it was normal to keep them informed about the major developments in the field of energy, where India and France share a robust relations.

It (Indo-US nuclear breakthrough) was discussed but "not in a granular form," he added, noting that the "template is already set" for the Indo-French nuclear cooperation.

France, whose company Areva is involved in the 9900 MW Jaitapur power plant project, has always maintained that they were ready to work within Indian domestic liability law.

With PTI inputs

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Updated Date: Apr 02, 2015 20:41:26 IST

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