President Ram Nath Kovind is on a three-nation tour to Europe and Latin America as the head of the state. This will be his first official visit to Europe and Latin American countries. During the seven-day tour President will pay a state visit to the Greece, Suriname and Cuba.
The President will be accompanied by Vishnu Deo Sai, Minister of State for Steel, two Members of Parliament and other officials.
In the first-leg of the trip, Kovind will visit Greece from June 16-19, said Subrata Bhattacharjee, Joint Secretary (Central Europe) in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
On June 17, Kovind will pay a visit to the sites of historical and archeological importance, participate in a community reception and address the Indian diaspora in the European country. Nearly 12,000 Indians live in Greece.
On June 18, the President will meet his Greek counterpart Prokopis Pavlopoulos. He will also meet Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Greek’s Leader of Opposition. On the same day, Kovind will visit Phaleron Commonwealth War Cemetery.
The visit to the cemetery is significant as 74 soldiers of the then undivided India, who lost their lives in the II World War in Greece, were laid to rest here. In the evening, the president will attend a banquet hosted by the Greek president.
On June 19, last day of his stay in the European country, Kovind will attend India-Greece CEO’s breakfast meeting. He will also give a talk on ‘India and Europe in the Changing World’ at a think tank in Athens.
Three agreements are also expected to be signed between the countries during Kovind’s visit, Bhattacharjee said. This is also the 40th year of establishment of diplomatic relations with India.
Kovind will be in Suriname, his second leg of the visit, between June 19 to 21. There he will hold discussions with his Surinamese counterpart Desire Delano Bouterse. This will also be Kovind’s first visit to any Latin American country after assuming office.
Kovind and Bouterse will also take part in the International Yoga Day event on June 21. The two sides are expected to sign 7-8 agreements, including in the areas of elections, health, medicines, IT and preservation of archives.
Kovind will be in Cuba from June 21-22, where he will hold talks with newly elected Cuban President Miguel Diza-Canel Bermudez. This will be the first visit of an Indian president to Cuba since the 1959 Cuban revolution.
Four MoUs are expected to be signed between India and Cuba in the field of biotechnology, homeopathy and medicinal plants. President Kovind will return India on June 24.
(with agency inputs)