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India resolves protocol problem with French leader’s partner

NEW DELHI: India will treat French President Francois Hollande’s partner Valerie Trierweiler as if she were his wife, resolving a potential protocol headache for his visit at the end of the month.
Hollande has been with Trierweiler, a 47-year-old divorced journalist, for the last five years and the couple have announced no plans to marry.
“It is confirmed that the French president is coming to India with his partner,” foreign ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said.
Last month, Indian foreign ministry officials arranging the travel plans asked the French authorities how they should treat Trierweiler at official dinners and other events.
The wives or husbands of foreign dignitaries are normally given a spot next to the Indian prime minister’s wife at official dinners and a special program of meetings and visits is also organized.
“We were told that she should be provided the hospitality given to a spouse,” said Akbaruddin, adding that meetings between the French president and top Indian leaders would be held on Feb. 14 in New Delhi.
Last year, Trierweiler was left seething during a visit to Washington when American journalists quizzed her about her status at a G8 summit.