New Delhi, May 26 (PTI) Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu will embark on a nine-day visit to Gabon, Senegal and Qatar beginning May 30 during which a number of bilateral pacts are expected to be inked to expand cooperation in specific areas.
It will be the first-ever high-level visit from India to Gabon and Senegal, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Thursday.
Naidu will be accompanied by a high-level delegation including Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar and MPs Sushil Kumar Modi, Vijay Pal Singh Tomar and P Raveendranath.
"This will be the first visit from India at the level of Vice President to all three countries. This will also be the first-ever high-level visit from India to Gabon and to Senegal," the MEA said, announcing the visit from May 30 to June 7.
It said Naidu's visit to Gabon and to Senegal will add momentum to India's engagement with Africa and emphasise its commitment to the African continent.
"The visit to Qatar, as both sides prepare to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, will further enhance the bilateral ties," the MEA said in a statement.
"A number of bilateral documents are expected to be concluded during the visit to the three countries," it said.
Naidu's first destination will be Gabon.
During the visit from May 30 to June 1, he will hold delegation level talks with Prime Minister of Gabon Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda. He will also call on President Ali Bongo Ondimba and meet other dignitaries, the MEA said.
Gabon is an important partner for India. Both India and Gabon are currently serving as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council.
From Gabon, Naidu will travel to Senegal for a three-day visit.
In his visit to Senegal from June 1-3, Naidu will hold delegation level talks with President Macky Sall and will meet the President of the National Assembly, Moustapha Niasse, and other dignitaries, the MEA said.
He will also attend a business roundtable and address the Indian community.
Senegal is the current Chair of the African Union.
The Vice President will be in Qatar from June 4-7 2022.
"During the visit, the Vice President will hold delegation-level talks with Qatar's Deputy Amir, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Thani, and review bilateral cooperation," the MEA said.
Naidu is also scheduled to meet several other Qatari dignitaries during this visit. He will also address a business roundtable in Qatar.
"People-to-people contacts are at the heart of the historical relations between India and Qatar, with the latter hosting over 7,50,000 Indians," the MEA said.
It said the multifaceted cooperation between the two sides has witnessed significant growth in economic, energy, investment, education, defence, and cultural ties.
"Bilateral trade crossed USD 15 billion in FY 2021-22. Qatar has also committed investments of over USD 2 billion in various Indian companies over the past two years," it said. PTI MPB RCJ
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