New Delhi: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday embarked on a nine-day visit to the west African countries of Gabon and Senegal, as well as the important Gulf country of Qatar, in the first ever visit from India at the level of Vice President to all three countries.
Vice President Naidu is being accompanied by Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar and three Members of Parliament, Sushil Kumar Modi (Rajya Sabha), Vijay Pal Singh Tomar (Rajya Sabha) and P. Raveendranath (Lok Sabha).
The Visit to Gabon is from May 30 to June 1. The VP will hold delegation level talks with Prime Minister of Gabon Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda, and call on President Ali Bongo Ondimba and meet other dignitaries. He will also interact with the business community in Gabon and address the Indian diaspora.
“Africa is continuing to be a priority country for us,” Secretary MEA Dammu Ravi said earlier.
VP Naidu would have and interaction and one-on-one meeting with the Prime Minister, followed by delegation level talks. He would address a business event, organised by the CII and FICCI, and also address a diaspora event. There are around 1,000 Indians living in Gabon, and they are eagerly looking forward to the visit by the VP, Dammu Ravi said
The Vice President will proceed to Senegal from June 1 to 3, where he will hold delegation level talks with President Macky Sall.
Since Senegal is chair of the African Union this year, the visit assumes greater importance.
VP Naidu will also meet President of the National Assembly Moustapha Niasse, and other dignitaries. He will also attend a business roundtable and address the Indian community.
There are around 2,000 Indians in Senegal and the VP will interact with the diaspora and also the business community there.
He will also deliver a talk at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop or UCAD, also known as the Cheikh Anta Diop University, at Dakar, which is the biggest in Africa.
The Qatar visit is from June 4-7, the last leg of his visit.
He will be hosted by his counterpart, the Qatar’s Deputy Amir, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Thani, and they will hold official delegation level talks and review the entire gamut of bilateral cooperation and also discuss issues of regional and global interest. The Deputy Emir will host a banquet in honour of the visiting Indian dignitary.
He will also address the Indian diaspora there. Qatar hosts 750,000 Indians.
The VP will also attend a cultural event hosted as part of the AKAM celebrations, and also address a business roundtable, comprising CII and FICCI and the local Qatar Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
VP Naidu is expected to launch the Indo-Qatar start up bridge to link the eco systems of both countries. On June 6 he will visit the Qatar Foundation, a non profit foundation, headed by Sheikha Moza bint Nasser.
He will also visit the national museum of Qatar.