President Patil arrives Laos on five-day visit

Written by: Nitsi
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Vientiane (Laos), Sept 9 (ANI): President Pratibha Devisingh Patil arrived in Laotian capital Vientiane on Thursday afternoon for a five-day state visit from September 9 to 13. She will also visit Cambodia from September 13 to 18.atil was received by Mrs Khempheng Pholsena, the Minister attached to Laotian Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh on her arrival at Wattay International Airport. She is visiting Laos on the invitation of Laotian President Choummaly Sayasone, who paid a state visit to India in August 2008.

A delegation of senior officials and Minister of Tribal Affairs Kantilal Bhuria is accompanying President Patil on her visit.

During her stay in Laos, President Patil will attend a reception hosted in her honour by the Indian community in Vientiane. The reception will be hosted by India's Ambassador to Laos, Dr. Jitendra Nath Mishra at the Hotel Lao Plaza.

On Friday, Patil will be accorded a ceremonial welcome and guard of honour at the Ho Kham Palace. She will then have a ten-minute one-to-one meeting with President Sayasone before both take part in delegation-level talks, expected to last over an hour.

The delegations of both countries will then sign a number of bilateral agreements aimed at taking the relationship forward. Patil will, thereafter, visit the Memorial Monument to lay a wreath. On Friday evening, the Prime Minister of Laos, Bouasone Bouphavanh, will call on the Indian President at the Hotel Lao Plaza. The two are expected to have a 30-minute meeting.

The day will end with a state banquet hosted in honour of the visiting dignitary.

During her stay in Laos, President Patil will also visit the National Museum at Luang Prabang and meet with the Governor of Luang Prabang in Phouvao. She will also witness the traditional Baci Ceremony and attend a dinner hosted by Governor Bouheuang Douangphachanh.

She will also visit the Xiengthong Temple and enjoy a cruise on the Mekong River on Sunday.

On Monday, she will meet with Thongsing Thammavong, the president of the National Assembly of Laos at her hotel in Vientiene. She will also address a Joint India-Lao business meeting before departing for Cambodian capital Phnom Penh after a ceremonial farewell.

On Thursday, Secretary (East) in the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, Vijaya Latha Reddy, said this was President Patil's first visit to Laos, and only the second by an Indian President since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1955, soon after the visit of former Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1954, and the formation of the International Commission for Supervision and Control (ICSC).

President Patil's visit to Laos is aimed at reaffirming India's commitment to further strengthen and consolidate bilateral relations, and enhance economic engagement and assistance in socio- economic development. By Praful Kumar Singh(ANI)

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