Sarkozy and wife Bruni hit Indian tourist trail

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French President Nicolas Sarkozy took his wife Carla Bruni sight-seeing in India on Sunday, with the ancient city of Fatehpur Sikri thought to be on their itinerary.

The couple had altered their schedule to sneak in a romantic sunset visit to the Taj Mahal on Saturday evening when security staff turned away tourists and press from the white marble "monument to love".

The French president is on a four-day visit to India, and was due with his wife to travel to the capital New Delhi later Sunday to attend a dinner hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The couple's sight-seeing plans were not released by French officials, who described the day as private time-off, but Indian media reported they were likely to visit Fatehpur Sikri, a ruined 16th-century Mughal city.

Sarkozy last visited India in 2008, just before he married pop star Bruni, and vowed to return with her to see the Taj Mahal, located in the city of Agra 200 kilometres (120 miles) from Delhi.

He began his trip in the southern city of Bangalore, a major technology centre, and will head to India's commercial capital of Mumbai on Tuesday.

During talks in Delhi on Monday he is expected to lobby for business deals with French companies and work to cement ties with a fast-emerging country that has increasing influence on the global stage.

© 2010 AFP

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