French President Nicolas Sarkozy Visits Bulgaria Today

President Nicolas Sarkozy of France arrived on an official one-day visit to Bulgaria at the invitation of Bulgarian President Georgi Purvanov.

Sarkozy was welcomed at a formal ceremony in Sofia's Sveti Alexander Nevsky Square. The two countries' national anthems were played, and a 21-gun salute was fired, BTA reports.

The two Presidents reviewed the guard of honour. Sarkozy laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers.

After the ceremony, the French President approached a crowd of well-wishers and shook hands with them. Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ivailo Kalfin, Economy and Energy Minister Peter Dimitrov, Sofia Deputy Mayor Minko Gerdjikov, and singer Sylvie Vartan, who is on Sarkozy's delegation, attended the ceremony. Next, the two heads of state and their official delegations will hold talks.

President Purvanov will decorate President Sarkozy with the Order of the Balkan Range, First Class, for his extraordinary services to the resolution of the case of the Bulgarian medics in Libya and their return to Bulgaria. The two presidents will give a joint news conference.

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