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President to visit Mauritius and Madagascar from Mar 11-15

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

will embark on a six-day visit starting March 11 to the Aisland nations of and in the Indian Ocean, a region vital to India's strategic interests.

Kovind will be the chief guest at the celebrations commemorating 50th year of independence of Mauritius, said Sanjay Panda, the (Region) in the

The visit of the to Madagascar, from March 14-15, will also be the first ever visit by an Indian VVIP to the island nation, Neena Malhotra, (East and Southern Africa) said.

The visits assume significance as these African countries lie in the Indian Ocean, considered India's backyard and also a region that has been witnessing growing Chinese naval presence. After assuming office last year, Kovind had visited and

In Mauritius, Kovind will hold talks with his counterpart Ameenah Gurib, Pravind Jugnauth, other political leaders, including the of the opposition, in the country. Four pacts in areas ranging from higher education to Ayurveda will be inked during the visit.

Kovind will also inaugurate the Hindi Secretariat that is coming up in Mauritius, besides laying foundation stone of an and also the social housing projects.

The projects are being executed under the Special Economic Package of USD 353 million for extended by

In Madagascar, Kovind will meet his counterpart and interact with the business community. He will also hold delegation level talks with Malagasy during his visit.

is straddled in the and along side the strategic channel.

Asked whether there will be an agreement on defence cooperation with Madagascar, Malhotra said, "We already have defence cooperation agreements with almost all Indian littoral countries. We have agreements with South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique, We are expecting to sign with other nations. could be another country.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 09 2018. 20:00 IST