Hol­lande ar­rives for 2-day visit

New Straits Times - - News -

KUALA LUMPUR: Ties be­tween Malaysia and France look set to soar to new heights as French Pres­i­dent François Hol­lande ar­rives for a two-day state visit to­day.

A se­ries of eco­nomic, de­fence, cul­tural and trade dis­cus­sions have been lined up for his visit, which kicks off after his ar­rival at Bunga Raya Com­plex, KLIA in the evening.

The French en­tourage con­sists of 170 peo­ple, in­clud­ing four cab­i­net mem­bers.

A state wel­com­ing cer­e­mony will be held at the Par­lia­ment Square to­mor­row morn­ing.

On the same day, Hol­lande is ex­pected to at­tend a joint press con­fer­ence or­gan­ised by the Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice, after meet­ing Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak and sign­ing sev­eral mem­o­randa of un­der­stand­ing (MoUs).

He is also due to at­tend a sign­ing cer­e­mony of eco­nomic and trade MoUs in the pres­ence of In­ter­na­tional Trade and In­dus­try Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Mustapa Mo­hamed, after a pri­vate meet­ing with French en­trepreneurs.

Later, Hol­lande is sched­uled to make an ap­pear­ance at the Royal Malaysian Air Force in Subang Jaya as well as the Is­lamic Arts Mu­seum where a sign­ing cer­e­mony be­tween the pres­i­dent of Paris’ Guimet Mu­seum and Malaysia Is­lamic Arts Mu­seum di­rec­tor will take place.

At the res­i­dence of French am­bas­sador Cristophe Penot, Hol­lande will at­tend the con­fer­ment cer­e­mony of Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh, who will re­ceive France’s high­est state award, the Com­man­deur in the Na­tional Or­der of Le­gion d’Hon­neur.

Hol­lande is then sched­uled to have a royal au­di­ence with Yang di-Per­tuan Agong at a state ban­quet after a meet-and-greet ses­sion with the French com­mu­nity at the em­bassy.

Penot re­port­edly said Malaysian-French ties would strengthen in the ar­eas of de­fence and trade fol­low­ing Hol­lande’s state visit — the sec­ond after then-pres­i­dent Jac­ques Chirac vis­ited Kuala Lumpur 14 years ago.

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