Volcanic ash delays VP Ansari’s departure to Brunei

RSTV Bureau
File Photo ( PTI )

File Photo ( PTI )

Vice President Hamid Ansari’s departure from Indonesia to Brunei has been delayed due to the shutting down of operations at the Bali airport due to spewing of ash from a rumbling volcano. According to officials, although the situation is said to be improving, the Vice President’s visit to Brunei is likely to be cancelled. He is currently on a last leg of his five-day tour to Indonesia and Brunei.

VP Hamid Ansari was scheduled to leave Bali on Wednesday morning (local time) but the flight was cancelled due to spewing of volcanic ash. Speaking to the news agency, officials said there seemed very little possibility that the Vice President may be able to leave for Brunei and he may head directly to India.

It is learnt that one of the factors because of which the Brunei trip may be cancelled is that Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao has arrived in India on a five-day visit to the country.

Mr. Li is scheduled to hold talks with his Indian counterpart Vice President Hamid Ansari and also with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 6, besides calling on President Pranab Mukherjee.

VP Ansari had arrived in Indonesia on November 1 and after two days in Jakarta had arrived in Bali on November 3.

During his Indonesia visit, Vice President Hamid Ansari piched for the greater cooperation between India and Indonesia in the areas of bilateral trade, investments, energy, culture besides strategic ties and Defense. The Vice President had also strongly emphasised on the Government of India’s flagship programme of ‘Make in India’ for the ease of doing businesses through simplification of existing rules and regulations.

President Hamid Ansari also met with his Indonesian counterpart Jusuf Kalla and Indonesian President Joko Widodo during this visit.

The closure of Bali airport has forced closure of hundreds of flights and left many tourists stranded. The closure of the airport, one of Indonesia’s busiest, follows a volcanic eruption on the nearby island of Lombok. According to reports, volcano-blasted ash and debris thousands of feet into the air which has disrupted flight operations.

(With inputs from the PTI)