Prez Kovind to embark on 3-nation tour of Central Europe


President of India Ram Nath Kovind.

File Photo: President of India Ram Nath Kovind.

President Ram Nath Kovind will visit Cyprus, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic from September 2-9 during which he will hold talks with the leadership of the three European countries to deepen ties, particularly in the economic sphere.

Kovind will begin his three-nation tour with Cyprus and will hold talks with that country’s President Nicos Anastasiades on a host of issues, including stepping up bilateral trade, Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs Ruchi Ghanashyam said.

During his visit to the country from September 2-4, the President will also address Cyprus’ House of Representatives, deliver a lecture at the University of Cyprus and address also the Indian diaspora there.

In the second leg of the visit, he will travel to Bulgaria from September 4-6. This will be the first presidential visit to the European country since A P J Abdul Kalam visited Bulgaria in 2003, Ghanashyam said.

A key element of his visit to Bulgaria will be that on Teachers’ Day (September 5), President Kovind will address students of the Sofia University on ‘Education as an instrument of change and shared responsibility’, she said.

An India-Bulgaria business forum event will also be held during the President’s visit and about 250 business representatives are expected to attend this event, she said.

During the visit, President Kovind will hold talks with his Bulgarian counterpart Rumen Radev on a host of issues to step up the engagement between the two countries.

On the third and the final leg of the tour, President Kovind will visit the Czech Republic and hold talks with his counterpart Milos Zeman, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis and President of the Chamber of Deputies Radek Vondracek.

He will also take part in a business forum meet. Over 60 Indian companies are travelling for the event and an equal number of Czech companies will take part in business-to-business interactions there, Ghanashyam said.

President Kovind will have interactions with Indologists at the Charles University in Prague, which had a Sanskrit chair way back in 1850, she said.

He will also visit the ELI Beamlines — International Laser Research Centre — which aspires to install and run the world’s most intense laser system.

President’s Press Secretary Ashok Malik said, “He looks forward to a very rich and substantive programme in all the three countries…business will form a very important part of deliberations and conversations in all three countries.”