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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 December 2007, 17:17 GMT
Paparazzi throng for Sarkozy trip
French President Nicolas Sarkozy arrives in Luxor with new girlfriend Carla Bruni on Tuesday, in an official photograph released by the Luxor Information Office
Paparazzi were kept at bay as the couple arrived in Egypt
Photographers are stalking the Egyptian resort of Luxor, after Nicolas Sarkozy arrived there to holiday with his new girlfriend, former model Carla Bruni.

Holding hands with Ms Bruni, the French president waved at onlookers as they arrived at their luxury hotel.

But security is tight with plainclothes guards deployed in the town and two journalists were briefly detained on Monday night after filming the hotel.

Mr Sarkozy, 52, divorced his wife of 11 years, Cecilia, in October.

He was first pictured in the French media with Ms Bruni, 39, in mid-December during a visit to Disneyland Paris.

Private jet

The former model, who has been previously linked to men including Mick Jagger, Donald Trump and Eric Clapton, began a career as a singer after quitting the world of fashion.

Carla Bruni singing in Paris in June
Since leaving fashion, Bruni has launched a successful music career

The couple travelled to Egypt in an entourage reportedly including friends and relatives. They arrived on a private jet, courtesy of Mr Sarkozy's friend, the French billionaire Vincent Bollore.

To avoid the photographers' lenses, the pair boarded in a private aircraft hangar in France.

On their touchdown in Luxor, heavy security prevented the media approaching and an official photograph was released by local authorities.

It was reported that the couple were to visit archaeological sights around Luxor, which is on the banks of the Nile, on Christmas Day.

They were then to travel to another resort, Sharm el-Sheikh, on Thursday, French media say, although French authorities have refused to confirm the reports, saying it is a private matter.

Mr Sarkozy is then due to make a formal state visit to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo before flying back to France to see in the New Year.

Nicolas Sarkozy and his girlfriend in Eygpt

Profile: Nicolas Sarkozy
16 May 07 |  Europe
Profile: Cecilia Sarkozy
17 Oct 07 |  Europe

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