Argentine President in France for talks

19th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 19 (AFP) - Argentine President Nestor Kirchner arrived in Paris on Wednesday for a working visit aimed at bolstering political and economic ties, during which he was to hold talks with French counterpart Jacques Chirac.

PARIS, Jan 19 (AFP) - Argentine President Nestor Kirchner arrived in Paris on Wednesday for a working visit aimed at bolstering political and economic ties, during which he was to hold talks with French counterpart Jacques Chirac.

Kirchner, accompanied by a high-level delegation including his economy, foreign and federal planning ministers, was also due to meet with French business leaders in a bid to attract foreign investment.

The crisis in the troubled Caribbean nation of Haiti was expected to top the agenda for the Kirchner-Chirac meeting on Thursday, according to French diplomats.

"This week's meetings will provide us with an opportunity to take stock of our bilateral relations, and to have in-depth exchanges on the major current international and regional issues, notably the situation in Haiti," the French foreign ministry said.

Argentina holds the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council for the month of January.

On Thursday, Kirchner also will speak at the third Europe-Latin America Forum.

Early Friday, he will sit down with 20 of France's business leaders at a working breakfast aimed at convincing them of the advantages of investing in Argentina's recovering economy.

But the meeting could instead end up focusing on the dispute between Argentina and several French-owned companies.

Aguas Argentinas, a subsidiary of the French Suez group, is currently renegotiating its contract to provide water in the Buenos Aires.

Last week, the Argentine government announced that Aguas Argentinas would be fined ARS 2 million (EUR 510,000) for interruptions to water supply that affected thousands of residents in and around the Argentine capital.

The government also warned Aguas Argentinas to "meet its obligations" -- a reference to payment of some ARS 60 million (EUR 15 million) it owes in accumulated fines. The French newspaper Le Figaro reported Wednesday that Suez was considering pulling out of the south American country altogether.

© AFP

Subject: French News

0 Comments To This Article