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Modi travels to France, Germany, Canada to boost 'Link West' policy

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Modi travels to France, Germany, Canada to boost Link West policy
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New Delhi: Giving a fillip to India's 'Link West' foreign policy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will go on an eight-day official visit to France, Germany and Canada from April 9 to 16.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin, announcing the tour, said: "The prime minister's visit to these countries reflects the 'Link West' aspect of India's foreign policy. We see this as an opportunity to reinforce our strong links with these countries, with a focus on investments and technological tie-ups."

Modi's first destination would be France from April 9 to 12, where he will have meetings with French President Francois Hollande.

He will also interact with various sections of the French society and members of the Indian community, who are residents in France, the spokesperson said.

Modi's second destination will be Germany. He will be in Germany from April 12 to 14 for the Hannover Messe. He will hold bilateral discussions with Chancellor Angela Merkel and other leaders.

The prime minister will be in Canada from April 14 to 16.

"In each of these countries, he will visit cities other than the capitals," Akbaruddin said.

In Canada, Modi is to make stops in Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver. This was announced by the Canadian High Commission here.

Modi's visit will be the first bilateral tour to Canada by an Indian prime minister since 1973.

The visit to Canada - Modi's first since taking office - will provide an opportunity for the leaders "to reaffirm the close relationship between Canada and India and to discuss ways to further broaden its scope", the high commission said.

"Increased cooperation in the fields of science and technology, innovation, education, security, counter-terrorism and energy are expected to feature prominently in discussions," it said in a press release.

"Canada and India enjoy a close friendship based on shared values of democracy, pluralism and a mutual interest in expanding trade," Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was quoted as saying.

"India's growing economy presents enormous opportunities for Canada and I look forward to meeting with Prime Minister Modi to further strengthen bilateral relations and expand our trade and investment ties with a view to benefitting citizens of both countries," he said.

Harper first met Modi on the margins of the G20 Summit in Australia in November 2014. Harper also visited India in November 2009 and November 2012.

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