KUALA LUMPUR: Two agreements on defence and agriculture with be inked today during French President Francois Hollande’s first state visit to Malaysia, said Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican.
Hollande and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, he said, are scheduled to witness the signing of agreements – including to set up a platform for Sustainable Agriculture Landscapes in South-East Asia.
“Cooperation in defence, counter-terrorism and trade will be on the agenda,” said Reezal during a media briefing in Parliament.
Hollande, who arrived from Singapore last night, is scheduled for a state welcome in Parliament Square this morning, before being received by Najib at his office in Putrajaya.
Reezal said meetings would be held between both leaders before a joint press conference is held.
He said Hollande would proceed to the Royal Malaysia Air Force Base in Subang Jaya to witness a static demonstration of a newly arrived A400M transport aircraft.
Later in the afternoon, he said, Hollande will visit and tour the Islamic Arts Museum here.
“He will also witness the signing ceremony between president of the Guimet Museum of Paris and director of Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia,” he said.
In the evening, Hollande will have an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V, followed by a State Banquet at Istana Negara.
Hollande is scheduled to leave for Jakarta at 10.30pm tonight.
This is the second presidential-level visit from France to Malaysia after President Jacques Chirac’s state visit in July 2003.
It’s also part of Hollande’s first state visit to the Asean region, which included Singapore and Jakarta.
His visit to Malaysia also coincides with the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Malaysia and France.
France is Malaysia’s fourth largest trading partner within the European Union countries.
Trade between both countries saw an increase of 6.3% in 2016 from the previous year and now totals RM15.23bil.