President Tony Tan receives warm welcome on state visit to Paris

Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam (right) shakes hands with French President Francois Hollande at the Elysee Palace in Paris on May 18, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP
Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam (right) shakes hands with French President Francois Hollande at the Elysee Palace in Paris on May 18, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP

PARIS - The thunder of hooves rang through one of Paris' poshest districts on Monday as President Tony Tan Keng Yam made his way to the Elysee Palace to meet his French counterpart Francois Hollande, in a motorcade escorted by 136 cavalrymen from the French Republican Guards.

Earlier that morning, Dr Tan had kicked off the second day of his state visit to France by attending a welcome ceremony in the courtyard of the gilt-domed Hotel National des Invalides, a complex of buildings that includes museums and monuments showcasing France's military history.

There, he was received by secretary of state for the family, elderly people and adult care Laurence Rossignol; prefect of the Ile-de-France region Jean-Francois Carenco; prefect of Paris police Bernard Boucault; and Paris' military governor, General Herve Charpentier.

Dr Tan also inspected the guard of honour formed by the French Republican Guards.

He then joined a procession winding its way up to the Elysee Palace - the official residence of the President of France since 1848 - past streets and buildings lined with Singapore flags.

Mr Hollande received Dr Tan at the Elysee Palace. On Monday night, he will host a state banquet in Dr Tan's honour.