French foreign minister on his way to Canada

16th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

OTTAWA, March 15, 2006 (AFP) - French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy will visit Canada this week to discuss avian influenza, UN reform and alliances with Canadian leaders, officials said Wednesday.

OTTAWA, March 15, 2006 (AFP) - French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy will visit Canada this week to discuss avian influenza, UN reform and alliances with Canadian leaders, officials said Wednesday.

"I welcome this important and early first meeting with my French counterpart, given the cultural, linguistic, historic and economic ties between Canada and France," Canada's foreign minister Peter MacKay said in a statement.

"We will discuss our countries' longstanding international cooperation on Haiti, Africa, Afghanistan, and common challenges that we face, including the avian influenza and UN reform."

Douste-Blazy will arrive in Ottawa Thursday, then head to Montreal the next day to meet with Quebec premier Jean Charest to talk about the upcoming 400th anniversary of Quebec City in 2008, French-Quebec cooperation and La Francophonie, an organization of francophone nations, officials said.

Douste-Blazy, who studied medicine in Montreal, is also expected to meet with former professors and fellow students, according to sources in Paris, and hold a private meeting with former French prime minister Alain Juppé.

Juppé now lives and works in Montreal.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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