Higgins in France for State visit

French president Francois Hollande welcomes President Michael D Higgins to the Elysee Palace in Paris today. Photograph: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters

French president Francois Hollande welcomes President Michael D Higgins to the Elysee Palace in Paris today. Photograph: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters

Mon, Feb 18, 2013, 00:00

President Michael D Higgins is meeting his French counterpart, François Hollande, at the Élysée Palace in Paris today.

The meeting, one of the main engagements on an official three-day visit by Mr Higgins to Paris, comes at a time of improving political relations between Ireland and France.

He will be presented with military honours at the Arc de Triomphe and will deliver an address entitled “Defining Europe in the Year of the European Citizen” at the Sorbonne.

As well as the meeting with Mr Hollande, the trip includes engagements with other senior figures from politics, business and the arts in France.

At the Centre Pompidou this evening, Mr Higgins and his wife, Sabina, will join French culture minister Aurélie Filippetti for a private viewing of a major exhibition of the work of Irish architect and designer Eileen Gray, which opens later in the week.

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