German Chancellor arrives on three-day State visit

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New Delhi, Oct 29 (UNI) German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived here tonight on a three-day landmark visit to India during which she will hold discussions with Indian leaders on strengthening the strategic partnership between the two major democracies.

She was received at the airport by Union Minister Meira Kumar.

Ms Merkel, who is on her first visit to India, will have all her official engagements tomorrow including talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on bilateral relations and regional and international situation.

The German Chancellor is accompanied by a 30-member business delegation, including CEOs of many multi-nationals, to explore investment opportunities in India. Germany is the seventh largest investor in India.

She will also flag off a 'Science Train' from the Safdarjung railway station in South Delhi that will criss-cross many parts of the country for seven months exhibiting the advances the two countries have made in Science and Technology.

She will meet President Pratibha Patil tomorrow. External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Leader of Opposition L K Advani will call on her.

The two countries will also sign about 12 agreements for cooperation in various areas including Defence, education, S and T, trade and investment and culture.

The German Chancellor is scheduled to have a business meeting with representatives of Indian industry--CII/FICCI/ASSOCHAM She will fly to Mumbai on Wednesday for interaction with business leaders.

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