President Ram Nath Kovind will next week travel to Benin, Gambia and Guinea — the first visit by an Indian head of state to the three West African countries, External Affairs Ministry announced on Thursday.
The visit, from July 28 to August 3, is expected to reinvigorate and give new direction to India’s ties with the three countries, Secretary (East) MEA Vijay Thakur Singh said at a media briefing.
On the first leg of the visit, President Kovind will arrive in Benin on July 28 and hold delegation-level talks with his Beninese counterpart Patrice Talon the next day.
Kovind will also address Benin’s national assembly in Porto-Novo. He will also have an interaction with the Indian community before concluding the visit, Singh said.
President Kovind will reach Gambia on July 30 and hold talks with his Gambian counterpart, Adama Barrow, the next day, she said.
The president will address the national assembly of Gambia and will also attend an event by the Indian community and inaugurate an exhibition on Mahatma Gandhi and Khadi during his visit.
In the third and final leg of his visit, President Kovind will visit Guinea and hold delegation-level talks with Guinea president Alpha Cond. He will also attend an Indian community event in Guinea, Singh said.
Various MoUs and agreements will be signed during the Kovind’s visit to the three west African countries, she said.
President Kovind has visited 20 countries in his tenure till now and after this visit the number will be 23, Press Secretary to the President Ashok Malik said.