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Seemingly unfazed at being ousted from the Asian Athletics Association, scam-tainted Suresh Kalmadi on Monday said losing the presidential re-election bid to Qatar’s Dahlan Jumaan Al-Hamad has actually given him a chance to work at the “grassroots” level.
“I have no issues today and I congratulate Mr Al-Hamad for being elected as President. I am rather relieved that I will be able to work at the grassroots level in athletics,” Mr. Kalmadi said after losing the vote during the ongoing AAA Congress in Pune.

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French President Francois Hollande to visit India on Feb 14

Sunday - Feb 10, 2013, 11:52am (GMT+5.5)
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French President Francois Hollande to visit India on Feb 14

New Delhi -French President Francois Hollande will pay a state visit to India on February 14-15 during which he will hold talks with Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and other leaders on ways of enhancing the strategic partnership between the two countries.

He will be accompanied by Valerie Trierweiller, a high-level delegation including several key Ministers of his Cabinet, senior officials, business-persons and media.

The French President will arrive in New Delhi on the morning of February 14 and will be accorded a Guard of Honour at Rashtrapati Bhavan, following which he will visit Rajghat to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi.

He will hold delegation level talks with Dr Singh. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj will call on him.

On February 15, Hollande will deliver a lecture at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Teen Murti House. Following that, he will honour Nobel laureate and renowned economist Amartya Sen with Commandeur de la legion d'Honneur.

Thereafter, the French President will visit Mumbai, where he will have a meeting with the Governor of Maharashtra and participate in a business conference.

An official press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said relations between the two countries had been laid on strong historical foundations and shared values.

With upgradation of the relationship to strategic partnership in 1998, the relationship has become multifaceted and symbiotic in areas such as defence, civil nuclear energy, space and counter terrorism.

There have been regular high-level exchanges at the Head of State/Head of Government levels.

Most recently, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid had visited France to have talks with his counterpart, the French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, last month.

"Today our relations are growing fast in all sectors of contemporary relevance with wide ranging contacts in economic, industrial and commercial spheres. There is also increased interaction in the fields of education, science and technology, culture and lifestyle industries services. France has consistently supported India's growing role in the international fora and the two countries have regular consultations on global and regional issues of importance," the release added.





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