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Security tight for D-Day events

Final preparations being made for Paris visits of Queen Elizabeth II, Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin

SECURITY in Paris has been stepped up for the visits of Queen Elizabeth II, US President Barack Obama, Russian leader Vladimir Putin for the D-Day commemorations.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and the Prince of Wales are also in France for the ceremonies.

The queen was due to arrive in Paris aboard Eurostar this afternoon for the start of her three-day State visit.

The 88-year-old monarch and Prince Philip were to be met at Gare du Nord by Britain’s ambassador to France Sir Peter Ricketts.

As reported, the highlight of the three-day State visit will be the D-Day commemoration ceremony in Normandy tomorrow.

The Queen and Prince Philip will also attend a State Dinner at the Elysee Palace, meet mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo and attend a ceremony at a flower market in Île de la Cité, which is to renamed in her honour.

She will also present an MBE to World War II hero Bob Maloubier, one of the last surviving Second World War Special Operations Executive agents. The Connexion’s June edition, which is in newsagents now, features an exclusive interview with Mr Maloubier.

Residents and visitors have been warned to expect significant travel disruption over the next three days.

Le Parisien said that disruption is expected to start on streets between 2.30pm and 4pm today around Gare du Nord, while people are urged to avoid the Champs-Elysées, between the Etoile and the Place de la Concorde from 4.30pm until the end of the day.

Drivers have also been warned to expect problems getting on to or leaving the A6 and A1 motorways from late afternoon.

Some Metro stations in the centre of Paris will also be closed.

Tomorrow, residents and visitors to the capital are warned to avoid travelling near the Champs-Elysées, left-bank quays and north périphérique in the morning. Anyone flying out from Orly or Roissy is advised to get to the airport early.

On Saturday, restrictions will be in place along the quays of the left bank up to the Issy-les-Moulineaux interchange.

The Hotel de Ville Metro station will be closed for two hours and no one will be able to access the City station all morning.

Mr Putin is making his first trip to Western Europe since the Ukraine crisis began. He is due to hold meetings with French President François Hollande, Mrs Merkel and Mr Cameron.

Photo: Abir Anwar

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