Italian President Antonio Segni arrived in Paris on February 19th at the beginning of a four-day official visit.
gv Airport buildings
gv De Gaulle arrives at Airport
pan De Gaulle walking
pan Plane taxis in - De Gaulle waits
pan Segni out of plane - greeted by De Gaulle
Segni and De Gaulle walking
pan Segni and De Gaulle walk to Airport building
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Background: Italian President Antonio Segni arrived in Paris on February 19th at the beginning of a four-day official visit.
He was greeted at Orly airport by France's President Charles de Gaulle.
Segni, who is accompanied by Foreign Minister Giuseppe Saragat was get by a chill breeze but a warm welcome as he stepped from the big Alitalia jetliner. Crowds cheered and shouted "Long live Italy" in echoes of the morning's newspapers who recalled the long friendship between Italy and France during which the fascist invasion of 1940 was only an "incident".
In a welcoming speech, De Gaulle struck the same note describing Franco-Italian friendship as " old as our two ancient nations".
Segni replied in French, albeit with an Italian accent, in a break from normal practice when official guests use their own languages.
From the airport, Segni, De Gaulle and their wives drove in impressive motorcade to the Quai d'Orsay where the visitors will be staying.
The visit is intended to cement the countries' friendship. Segni will be having talks with French government leaders, the first working session being with Foreign Minister Maurice Couve de Murville on Thursday.
But on the first day, Segni lunched with De Gaulle at the presidential Elysee Palace before a private meeting during the afternoon. In the evening there was a reception at the Elysee for more than 1,000 guests.
Discussions during the four-day visit are bound to centre on Italian and French views of the future of Europe. Italy is known to favour a closely integrated Europe with supra-national institutions. She also favours British membership of the European Community.
On the other hand, De Gaulle prefers a loose-knit confederation of sovereign states and has rejected British membership.