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French president Francois Hollande on state visit to Romania

Associated Press Associated Press 13/09/2016
French President Francois Hollande, right, reviews a honor guard with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis during a welcome ceremony in Bucharest, Romania, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. Hollande began a one-day state visit to Romania, the first by a French president since Francois Mitterrand came to Romania in 1991, that both sides hope will boost trade and consolidate bilateral relations between the traditional allies and will later inaugurate the Airbus Romania factory in central Romania, which will produce the H215 military and civil helicopters, starting next year. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda) © The Associated Press French President Francois Hollande, right, reviews a honor guard with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis during a welcome ceremony in Bucharest, Romania, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. Hollande began a one-day state visit to Romania, the first by a French president since Francois Mitterrand came to Romania in 1991, that both sides hope will boost trade and consolidate bilateral relations between the traditional allies and will later inaugurate the Airbus Romania factory in central Romania, which will produce the H215 military and civil helicopters, starting next year. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

BUCHAREST, Romania — French President Francois Hollande has begun a one-day state visit to Romania that both sides hope will boost trade and consolidate bilateral relations between the traditional allies.

Hollande laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier early Tuesday at the start of his visit, and later noted it was the first state visit by a French president since Jacques Chirac came to Romania in 1997.

Hollande will later inaugurate the Airbus Romania factory in central Romania, which will produce H215 military and civil helicopters, starting next year. It will become fully operational by 2020, manufacturing 15 helicopters a year and creating 350 jobs, company officials said.

The French leader is accompanied by 30 business chiefs.

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This story has been corrected to show that Hollande's visit is the first visit by a French president to Romania since Jacques Chirac came to Bucharest in 1997, instead of an earlier visit by Francois Mitterrand in 1991.

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