French prime minister starts two-day Irish visit today
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls today begins a two-day visit to Ireland.
The highlight of Mr Valls' visit will be his opening of the new French embassy at Fitzwilliam Lane, just five minutes' walk from Leinster House. The new embassy location is part of the French government's move to raise France's profile in Ireland and deepen long-standing relations between the two countries.
Tomorrow Mr Valls will meet Taoiseach Enda Kenny at Government Buildings for discussions on a wide range of topics, and especially on EU issues. Talks will deal with the environment, trade, education and tourism.
That meeting will also follow the special EU leaders' summit in Brussels today on the crisis of migrants who are risking their lives in unprecedented numbers trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea.
Mr Kenny will be in Brussels for today's summit, while France will be represented by President Francois Hollande. The EU leaders' summit was called after the major catastrophe at the weekend, when almost 1,000 people perished.