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President Patil to visit Seychelles and South Africa

New Delhi, Fri, 27 Apr 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Apr 27 (ANI): In a bid to push for stronger bilateral relations, President Pratibha Devisingh Patil will be paying state visit to Seychelles and South Africa starting from April 30.

She will be accompanied by Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology Sachin Pilot and parliamentarians Dr. Prabha Thakur and Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre along with senior officials of different ministries and a 41-member business delegation.

During her visit two-day visit to Seychelles, Patil will meet with President James Alix Michel during which various aspects of bilateral relations and regional and international issues are expected to be discussed.

The Vice President Danny Faure and other ministers of the cabinet in the Government of the Republic of Seychelles will call on the President of India.

The President will address Special Session of the National Assembly. This will be followed by the call on the President by the leader of the opposition David Pierre.

President Michel will also be hosting a dinner in honour of the President.

The other engagements of the President Patil in Seychelles include an address to the India-Seychelles Business Forum meeting; attending a reception hosted by the Indian High Commissioner for the Indian community and Seychellois Friends of India and a visit to the Seychelles People's Defence Force where she will be received by the chief of the Seychelles Defence Force and interact with Indian naval officers.

Patil will leave for South Africa in the forenoon of May 1.

While in South Africa, the President will meet her South African counterpart Jacob Zuma in Pretoria and hold discussions with him on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interests.

The Deputy President of South Africa Kgalema Motlanthe will call on the President.

President Zuma will host a state banquet in honour of the President. The President will visit Johannesburg on May 3 to unveil a bust of the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi at the Constitution Hill.

She will also visit the number four prison where Mahatma Gandhi had been incarcerated by the apartheid regime.

She will return back to Pretoria and address the India-South Africa Business Forum meet.

The President will visit Cape Town on May 4-5, where she will meet with a team of South African parliamentarians led by the Speaker of the National Assembly Max Sisulu and the Chairman of the National Council of Provinces.

The President is expected to visit Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.

From Cape Town, the President will visit Durban on May 6-7 and visit the Phoenix Settlement and offer floral tributes at the bust of Mahatma Gandhi. She will thereafter visit the John Dube Memorial. The President will also visit Pietermaritzburg Station which has a historically link to India wherein Mahatma Gandhi had been thrown out of a first class compartment on to the platform.

The President will also attend a reception hosted by the High Commissioner of India for the Indian community and South African friends of India. She will also meet representatives of Gandhi Communities in South Africa. (ANI)


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