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President Droupadi Murmu To Visit Suriname And Serbia

"The President will be in Suriname on a state visit from June 4 to 6 at the invitation of President of Suriname Chan Santokhi. This will be her maiden state visit after she assumed the office of the President," said Saurabh Kumar, Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs.  

Droupadi Murmu
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President Droupadi Murmu will embark on a six-day visit to Suriname and Serbia beginning Sunday to bolster India's bilateral engagement with the two countries. 

In the first leg of her trip, the President will visit the South American country of Suriname from June 4 to 6.

From Surinam, she will travel to Serbia in Europe for the second and final leg of her visit from June 7 to 9.

"The President will be in Suriname on a state visit from June 4 to 6 at the invitation of President of Suriname Chan Santokhi. This will be her maiden state visit after she assumed the office of the President," said Saurabh Kumar, Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs.  

"The visit assumes historical significance as the President will be the chief guest at the 150th anniversary celebrations of the arrival of Indians in Suriname," he said at a media briefing.

The celebrations are on June 5.

Kumar said the President would be accompanied by Union minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti,Minister and Rama Devi, a Lok Sabha member of Parliament.

President Murmu will hold talks with her Surinamese counterpart Santokhi and participate in a number of activities to commemorate the arrival of Indians in that country, he said.

The visit comes within six months of President Santoki's visit to India in January. Kumar said the Indian community in Suriname acts as the "living bridge" between the two countries.

He said the visit will add a fresh momentum to India-Suriname ties. Secretary (West) in the MEA Sanjay Verma said Murmu will travel to Serbia from Surinam on June 7. 

"She will be on a state visit to Serbia on the invitation of the Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic," he said. Verma said it will be her first ever visit to Europe after she became the President. 

"This is also the first ever state visit at the level of head of state between the two countries," he said.

Verma said a 20-member business delegation will arrive separately in Serbia from India for the visit and it will include delegates from industry chambers CII, FICCI and ASSOCHAM.

"We have warm, friendly and close cooperation with Serbia. Our understanding at multilateral fora and on several issues of global importance has been similar," he said.

"It was felt that bilateral relations need nurturing at the highest level," he added.

Verma said the President will also meet the Serbian prime minister.

Asked about the recent disturbances in Kosovo and whether the Indian side is concerned over it in view of the visit by the President, Verma said there were no such concerns.

"We are aware of the recent disturbances in Kosovo which is at the extreme southern tip of Serbia. We have no reason at this point of time to be concerned that those incidents would have any consequence on the state visit of my President nor have we been suggested otherwise by the host," he said.

"On the matter of Kosovo, our stand has been quite clear and consistent that we do not recognise the declaration of Independence by Kosovo. We, however, also believe that any differences need to be resolved peacefully through talks," he added.

-With PTI Input

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