India resolves protocol problem with French leader’s partner

Updated 04 February 2013

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.

Pakistan eliminated terrorism with monumental cost — Defense Minister

Updated 26 April 2018

Pakistan eliminated terrorism with monumental cost — Defense Minister

  • Beijing hosted the first SCO Defense Ministers meeting after the organization was expanded in 2017 and added India and Pakistan as full members
  • He said that presence of Daesh in Afghanistan is a source of insecurity for its neighbors

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Minister for Defense Khurram Dastgir Khan said that Pakistan has eliminated terrorism from its soil at a monumental cost — in the in blood of soldiers and citizens.
The minister made his remarks at the 15th Defense Ministers Meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Beijing.
He added that Pakistan had adopted a comprehensive national action plan to combat terrorism: “We have suffered economic losses in excess of US $120 billion (Rs 13,920 billion) in our war against terror,” he added.
It was the first assembly of SCO Defense Ministers since the organization expanded in 2017, adding India and Pakistan as full members.

Khan said the continuing turmoil in Afghanistan, including presence of ISIS (Daesh), was a source of insecurity for its neighbors and the entire region.

“Serious challenges facing the region include violent extremism, poverty, lack of trans-boundary water management, drug trafficking, refugees, human trafficking and border controls,” the minister said.

Khan acknowledged the existence of bilateral issues between SCO members, but asserted that these should “never be allowed to impede our collective work.” He encouraged his counterparts to face collective challenges with “courage, harmony and cooperation.”

The minister signed a communiqué with other participants offering support for the “Shanghai Spirit” of building a shared community with peace and stability, development and prosperity.

Defense ministers from the SCO member states including China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and India attended the meeting. The defense minister of Belarus attended as an observer.